Hidden firepower for helicopters

  • A computer rendering showing Israel-based Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon Station (RWS) fully deployed. Image credit: Duke Airborne Systems
  • The Robotic Weapon Station is said to be easily deployed, convenient to operate and requires no adjustments or special training. Image credit: Duke Airborne Systems
Date:25 June 2014 Author: Sean Woods Tags:, ,

It’s a politically incorrect thing to admit, but most guys I know dig guns. That said, if you, like me, harbour a macabre fascination for killing machines and doomsday scenarios, then Israel-based Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon Station (RWS) – billed as the “first-of-its-kind” concealed weapon system for helicopters – should be of interest.

Unveiled at the recently-held Eurosatory defense industry show in Paris, this ultra-compact, land-proven technology has been modified to fit inside standard utility helicopters – enabling them to enter “hot zones” and without the need for armed escorts.

Once the electronically-controlled 25 mm machine gun – capable of firing up to 2 000 rounds of bursting, armour piercing or air-bursting ammunition – is deployed from inside the cargo bay, it’ll provide enough suppression firepower to make any baddies keep their heads down.

Based on the “delta-robot” motion platform for maximum stability while in flight, it features a six axis stabilisation unit to supress vibrations while maintaining target-locks. Gunfire-locating sensors detect when the helicopter’s being fired at and direct the weapon to that source – from that point the operator can simply start blasting away. It also has a 360 degree firing capability, and only occupies a third of the cargo space near the door, allowing the rest of the area to be filled with cargo or troops.

The RWS is said to be easily deployed, efficient and convenient to operate, and requires no adjustments or special training. And, in an emergency, the capsule and tracks can be easily jettisoned by the pilot, who has full control of the cargo hooks.

Says Sagiv Aharon, Duke Airborne Systems’ founder and CEO: “The development of the system was based on thorough and in-depth research as well as extensive know-how and experience in the area of weapon systems and their integration into aircraft. Now that we have accomplished a major milestone in the development of the technology, the next step will be to create partnerships with leading companies in order to achieve complete market readiness.”

To find out more visit www.dukeairborne.com

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