Mon, Jan 21, 2008
Will Address What Many See As A Critical Shortcoming
A key shortcoming cited by critics
of the CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport may soon be addressed. BAE
Systems announced Monday it will develop an interim all-quadrant
defensive weapon system for the Osprey.
BAE states the contract awarded by the US Special Operations
Command, calls for rapid development, installation, testing, and
qualification of a weapon capability that provides defensive fire
protection to all quadrants of the aircraft. Currently, Ospreys fly
with only a single, rear-mounted, 30-caliber machine gun that can
only be fired when the cargo ramp is extended.
The belly-mounted system is remotely operated and capable of
delivering accurate, sustained fire throughout the CV-22's flight
envelope. The contract is valued at $491,000, with a potential
value of $16.3 million, including options.
"At BAE Systems, we pride ourselves on the work we do to protect
those who protect us," said Clark Freise, vice president of defense
avionics for BAE Systems in Johnson City, New York. "This system
will provide vital protection to this aircraft, its operators, and
the Special Operations personnel that it will carry."
In the Osprey's early development stages, plans called for a
nose-mounted Gatling Gun in the tiltrotor, but that was later
shelved over weight, cost, and mission concerns.
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