Military HMMWV CROWS
As described on the other pages of this HMMWV Weaponry section, the roof-mounted machine guns have been manned by a gunner who has to be protected from small arms fire and explosives as well as wire traps and other hazards. The simple machine gun ring mount was augmented with gun shields and armored turrets to protect the gunner while allowing him to maintain situational awareness and retain the ability to rapidly bring his weapon on target if combat develops.
CROWS mounted M2 .50 caliber machine gun atop an M1114 Up-Armored HMMWV of the U.S. Army Bravo Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq, 30 March 2006.
HMMWV Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS)
Up-Armored HMMWVs with CROWS mounted.
A further refinement of the HMMWV weapons system is the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) that eliminates the need for a gunner in the exposed roof position. CROWS provides Soldiers with the ability to acquire and engage targets while remaining inside their HMMWV, protected by its armor. CROWS is designed to mount on a variety of vehicle platforms and all the standard U.S. military machine guns can be mounted on CROWS.
After CROWS prototypes were installed on vehicles belonging to the 42nd Military Police Brigade in December 2004, CROWS was used by the Army in Iraq starting in April 2005. The system was tested for adoption by the USAF during 2006.
Description of Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS)
Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS)
CROWS is a stabilized gunner-operated weapon system, which allows the gunner to engage targets from inside a moving vehicle. It mounts to the M1114, M1116 or other models of the Up-Armored HMMWV (pronounced as humvee). The CROWS mount is capable of continuous 360° azimuth rotation and a minus 20 to plus 60 degree elevation movement.
The CROWS control group, which mounts inside the vehicle, is the gunner interface allowing operation from within the vehicle's ballistic protection. Its main components include a display unit, switch panel unit and a joystick-type hand controller. The control group system provides full remote control of the CROWS weapon system via on-screen menus presented on the display.
The system incorporates a 15-inch color monitor with live video from cameras in the daytime and a Generation 2 forward-looking infrared camera in darkness. Both cameras use a laser range finder, which allows the gunner to zoom on targets, lock onto them and maintain that lock accurately while the vehicle is in motion. The camera and the weapon can be used together or separately.
CROWS supports the MK19 Grenade Machine Gun, .50 Caliber M2 Machine Gun, M240B Machine Gun, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). The weapons operate from a larger ammunition supply than that of the standard crew-served weapons. With larger combat loads, the weapon is reloaded less, keeping the crew inside the vehicle.
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