Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR FEB 2016 Contents COVER STORY
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 17 | FEB 2016
other cannon types including the Mk 44 Bushmaster II (30mm) and
Bushmaster III (35mm).
Rheinmetall is believed to be offering the Lance fitted with the
Spike-LR ATGW, a roof-mounted remotely controlled weapon and
very high levels of passive and active protection. The Boxer CRV, as
it is known, has the highest specification of the four vehicles on offer
and a significant contributor to that capability is the Lance turret.
The two-man MT30 turret from Elbit is understood to be based
upon the unmanned UT30 Mk 2, a 30mm overhead weapon station
currently in service with countries such as Belgium and Brazil. It
is fitted with the Mk 44 Bushmaster II cannon and is believed to
incorporate the fire control system from the Merkava 4 main battle
tank. Elbit has to date released only computer-generated renderings
of the MT30, which suggests that it is being built for the first time in
the configuration offered for Land 400.
Given Elbit’s pedigree in military technology and its tendency to
rapid development, the MT30 will almost certainly include lead-
ing-edge sensing and targeting systems. These are expected to in-
clude Trophy Light, a version of the Trophy active protection system
developed for light and medium armoured vehicles.
ABOVE: Kongsberg’s unmanned MCT-30 turret on the General
Dynamics Land Systems LAV Demonstrator during live fire trials
in Norway, 2014. Image: GDLS
BELOW: Commercial arrangements, production timetables and
availability issues resulted in a reduced number of candidate
CRV turrets. Shown is the Cockerill Medium Calibre Turret from
CMI Defence. Image: CMI Defence
Last but certainly not least is the MCT-30 turret from Kongsberg.
It is the only unmanned turret in the competition and made its de-
but in 2008 at the AUSA exhibition and was the launch turret for
the GD European Land Systems Piranha 5 at Eurosatory in 2010. It
has just been selected to equip around 80 US Army Stryker infantry
combat vehicles based in Europe.
The MCT-30 is also fitted with the Mk 44 Bushmaster II cannon.
It is distinctive for its Meggitt linkless ammunition feed system. The
absence of link reduces the total volume of the ammunition in the
vehicle and means that rounds can be loaded into the two maga-
zines either side of the cannon with minimal disruption to firing.
In linked ammunition systems, the magazines must be loaded with
long belts and the cannon must normally be taken offline for several
minutes while this is being done.
The principal advantages of an unmanned turret are to reduce the
overall size, weight and cost of the whole vehicle because the com-
mander and gunner are accommodated in existing space in the hull.
If only the vehicle crew and passengers need to be protected to the
highest levels, this enables the weight and cost of the turret to be
reduced even further. This is why unmanned turrets are well-suited
to vehicles with lower payload capacity, such as Stryker and the LAV
6.0 which GDLS-A is offering for Phase 2.
The penalty for an unmanned turret is reduced situational aware-
ness. The human head remains a powerful sensing and comput-
ing device and still outperforms available sensors and computing
systems in many situations. As much of the CRV’s service life will
not be spent engaged in actual combat, there are also numerous ad-
vantages in being able to stick your head out of the top of the vehi-
cle, including safety on public roads and showing a friendly face to
The relative merits of manned and unmanned turrets are an
ongoing debate around the world and Land 400 is also wrestling
Army made a significant leap in the 1990s when it transferred
from the Vietnam-vintage T-50 turret in the M-113A1 to the stabi-
lised Delco turret in ASLAV-25. It now stands ready to take another
leap. The question is where. DTR
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