BAE Systems SA unveils smart turret


BAE Systems South Africa will be displaying a new fire-on-the-move Tactical Response Turret (TRT) on its new RG41 8×8 mine-protected wheeled armoured combat vehicle at next week’s Eurosatory defence show in Paris, France.

Operated by one person, the overhead remote-controlled turret provides self protection and ground support for light armoured vehicles (LAV), mine-resistant armour protected vehicles and infantry combat vehicles and will be competitively-priced, the company says.

The self-contained turret, as designed, can be fitted with a US Alliant Techsystems M242 Bushmaster 25mm cannon – or similar-sized weapons ranging from 20 to 30mm – as well as an co-axial M240 (FN MAG) machine gun. Armoured bins allow for 1000 7.62x51mm NATO rounds and 260 25x137mm rounds in two magazines of 130 rounds each. In addition,the turret is fitted with four 76mm smoke launchers. Traverse is all-round and elevation is from -10 to +65 degrees.

Mechanical or software-controlled interruptors are available to restrict movement in azimuth in order to create “prohibited zones”.

BAE Systems says the turret weighs 800kg of which some half is the weapon and ammunition. On a typical LAV such as those derived from the MOWAG Piranha, the TRT offers a weight saving of 1200kg. It is also a major space-saver, the company avers. The TRT is typically 1100mm high and 1320mm wide. Traverse is at 1.8 rad/s, 103 degrees a second or 3.5 seconds to circle, elevation is 1.5 ad/s or 85 degrees a second. Stabilisation is “better than 0.5 rad/s” while operational on the move while laying accuracy is better than 150 µRad with automatic optical tracking after manual lock-on.

The standard sighting sensor system allows for identification by day at 1000m and by night at 750m in terms of STANAG 4347), while the Vectronics 3042 laser range finder ranges to 5km. A “high performance” suite offers identification by day at 2500m and 1600m at night. The suite’s Carl Zeiss laser range finder does so at 12km. In both cases a further commanders’ observation sight is available.

The turret was developed by Land Systems SA’s Dynamics business – the former IST Dynamics, acquired in September 2008 and the “non-complex” man machine interface or “battle station” can be positioned anywhere in the carrier vehicle. An optional commander’s station is available. The fire control system (FCS) includes a fully-integrated ballistic computer, an integrated automatic video auto-tracker, aim-point adjustment based on target speed and distance as well as a continuous electronic zoom combined with a fixed field of vision. Optional is a patent-pending “rapid-target designation” system available to the commander. Further options include the integration of the FCS with onboard command-and-control suites or battle management systems, GPS and navigation means as well as a laser warning and shot detection system. Additional armour protection is also available, BAE Systems product literature adds.