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Reutech Rogue roars ahead

Reutech Solutions will next February test its 20mm Super Rogue aboard on of the South African Navy's (SAN) four MekoA200SAN Valour-class frigates. The remotely operated cannon and observation system is a development of the 12.7mm Sea Rogue already installed aboard the warships as close-in self-protection systems.

The company says Sea Rogue consists of an externally-mounted gun, remotely controlled from the ship's bridge or operations room. It uses a hand-controller and video sight. Standard weapons, including a range of 7.62mm, 12.7mm machine guns as well as 40mm grenade launchers. Two, fitted with a single 12.7mm Browning heavy machine gun, are fitted aboard each of the four frigates. The weapon has also been acquired by the United Arab Emirates Coast Guard for use aboard their 14/16m patrol boats and has reportedly drawn interest in Malaysia in both naval and vehicle variants,the latter known as Land Rogue. “The latter is included in a letter of intent signed for Malaysia's new-generation ICV and APC family.”

In its August/September 2010 edition, respected arms journal Armada reports the SAN will likely acquire two of the Super Rogue systems for each of the frigates, likely to replace the manned SAN Mk1 20mm cannon on each bridge wing that are still aimed with basic optics. The Super Rogue
can accommodate up to a 25mm cannon, but current model was shaped around the Denel GI2 20mm.

A company brochure reads that all versions of the Rogue offers enhanced accuracy due to their fire control software and gyro stabilisation that compensates for platform motion and gives the ability to automatically track or fire on moving targets. The system also offers improved target recognition and accuracy due to its high quality electrooptical sight and powerful magnification. Current installations also include a thermal imager for night vision. Naval variants can also be slaved to other sensors aboard ship such as radar, optronic trackers and the like to obtain targets quickly.

The system further features the ability to record sight images for debriefing or legal investigations. Reutech notes the system offers a further advantage over manned systems in that the operator is under armour and not exposed to the elements or enemy fire. Comprehensive coverage close to the vessel is also assured by the Rogue's -40º depression angle – well in excess of most standard mounts. (Maximum elvation is +60º) Furthermore, its simple design means inherent reliability, low maintenance cost and ease of operation, the company avers.

A back-up mode allowing its manual operation in cases of power or other failures exist.

Rogue was developed in the early years of this decade following the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, an Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS destroyer. Arguably one of the most capable warships in service in any navy, the Cole was still near powerless against a rigid inflatable speedboat bearing suicide bombers.

Reutch Solutions executive Karl Fischer told the author in March 2005 Rogue was "excellent for that role" but would also do well if fitted to small patrol craft. But many armies also have a need for stabilised gunsystems that can be fired by crews under armour. The system had then recently been fired from a mounting on the turret of a Rooikat armoured car and another from aboard SAN strike craft SAS Makhanda. The Rooikat test involved static firing as well as firing on moving targets at a range of 200m.

Pic: The Reutech Sea Rogue (foreground) with the diminutive low profile Super Rogue on the ground behind.  


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