RLS 609 L
|Name:||Remote controlled weapon station|
Cooperation between Rheinmetall Defence and Kongsberg Protech companies covers the development and production of two weapon stations called 609 L and 609 P. They complete the RLS 609 family of weapon stations with light and heavy remotely operated variants. Fire control units, including display and a control handle, form part of the weapon stations, allowing operation under armour protection.
The weapon stations will be able to take the complete range of infantry weapons currently in service with the German armed forces, including 5.56mm, 7.62mm, 12.7mm and 40mm cal. weapons. The weapon station 609 L, with a gross combat weight of about 100 kg, is designed for use on lightweight vehicles, while the weapon station 609 P (with a gross combat weight of about 200 kg) will be able to carry a heavy 12.7 mm machine gun or even a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
To a large extent, the design is based on reliable, combat-proven KONGSBERG components adapted to specific German requirements, e.g. with regard to weapons and day/night vision sensors. In both weapon stations, the mechanical and electrical interfaces to the vehicle are absolutely identical, enabling very fast integration in any appropriately prepared vehicle. This way Rheinmetall Landsysteme is able to offer complete vehicle systems, including armament both within and beyond the scope of Germany's GFF/GTF programme.
An 80% commonality in components and subsystems between the two weapon stations will significantly decrease life cycle costs and facilitate logistical support. Both weapon stations feature a traverse range of n x 360° combined with an elevation range of -9° up to 60°. Several different options (stabilization system, laser rangefinder, etc.) are available, and the systems can be expanded to include a friend/foe identification capability, for example.
In mid May 2006, Rheinmetall Landsysteme announced the interest in participating in the German programme. A German BWB campaign to test different competing weapon station demonstrators is scheduled to start in early July 2006. Selection of a weapon station type for further qualification is expected to occur at the end of 2006 or early 2007.
First series deliveries are expected to take place in 2008, with a first lot of approximately 300 units; actual demand is deemed to be much higher. Setting their sights beyond the German programme, Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Kongsberg are already planning to cooperate in the world market too.