QUANTICO, Va. --- BAE Systems today unveiled its new remotely operated, turreted weapon system, the Remote Guardian System (RGS), designed to provide 360 degrees of suppressive fire for the Marine Corps V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
In recent stability testing at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, the RGS, with a GAU-17, 7.62 mm mini-gun, was mounted on a moving land vehicle test platform. The testers demonstrated the weapon's accuracy, based on the three-axis stability and control that is the foundation of the RGS and a core capability of BAE Systems.
"RGS performed admirably in the tests, demonstrating accurate fire on-the-move," Clark Freise, vice president of defense avionics for BAE Systems, said in introducing the system at the Modern Day Marine Expo in Quantico, Virginia. "Due to the support and feedback we received from the Marine Corps' requirements and user communities, we are now launching this as a mature system."
BAE Systems, which has been working with the user community to develop and demonstrate this capability since mid-2005, is planning to make the system available for installation beginning in the third quarter of 2008.
RGS, designed to be belly-mounted on the V-22, is the first remote weapon system capable of delivering accurate, sustained fire throughout the aircraft's entire flight envelope. It features a compact, retractable design that saves valuable aircraft cabin space and was designed to be completely compatible with the V-22's avionics suite.
RGS incorporates proven elements of already-fielded systems, drawing on BAE Systems' more than 50 years of experience in the precision control of airborne weapons systems. In addition to meeting specific V-22 requirements, BAE Systems' modular, retractable design is able to support different weapons and is compatible with different sensors, giving it potential applications on other airborne and ground vehicles.
BAE Systems is the premier global defense and aerospace company, delivering a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. BAE Systems, with 96,000 employees worldwide, had 2006 sales that exceeded $27 billion on a pro forma basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings Inc. for the whole of 2006.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The lack of an on-board weapon with a 360-degree field of fire is one of the major criticisms leveled at the Pentagon’s decision to deploy the V-22 Osprey to Iraq.)