Vehicle mounted weapons systems provide soldiers with the unique capabilities to engage hostile territories - increasing survivability and lethality. Although we don’t see many practical applications except for wars likes the one in Iraq. The results can be devastating, granted that a certain automobile mounted weapons systems can fire thousands of bullets per minute or launches multiple rockets in a second.
Whether it is operated or remotely done, these systems were thoroughly studied and engineered by bright minds to create a huge strategic importance for the fighting forces. Furthermore, the capabilities of these systems in combats can greatly affect the outcome of a battle.
M240 machine gun
It is a US military designation belt-fed; gas operated machine gun which fires 7.62x51mm rounds. Ever since mid 1980s, the m240 machine gun has been used by the United States armed forces; it has been used extensively by infantry, ground vehicles, aircrafts and watercrafts. Even though it is a heavy gun to operate, it is regarded highly for its reliability.
The M2 Browning or the .50 caliber machine gun is a heavy machinegun that was first developed near the end of World War 1 by a person named John Browning. The M2 Browning may sound old but still nowadays this machinegun is being manufactured and improved to be used by vehicles and aircrafts alike. The present M2 Browning operates on a short recoil principle and offers a long range, accuracy and good stopping power against infantry, lightly armored or unarmored boats and vehicles, low-flying aircraft and light fortifications.
BGM-71 TOW Missile System
Tube-launched, Wire command data link and Optically-tracked guided missile system is an effective anti-tank missile. It was first manufactured in 1970 and was seen in action during Vietnam War. This vehicle mounted weapons systems were developed for both aerial and ground applications, which is effective against armored vehicles, bunkers and fortifications. Now, the TOW has been designed to be launched in any environment or vehicle, different launching tubes, and many other modifications to greatly improve its use.
The FGM-172 SRAW Short-Range Assault Weapon is basically a lightweight, missile system for close range that was developed and produced Lockheed Martin and Israel Military Industries. The SRAW or known as Predator SRAW designed to complement the Javelin anti-tank missile which can be used by an infantry unit or mounted on a vehicle. The Predator utilizes a fire-and-forget pre-launch system where the gunner has to track the target (tank) for 3 seconds before firing. The internal system of the predator computes the distance and predicts the point were the missile is going to intercept its target.
The bushmaster is automobile mounted weapons systems that were developed to introduce a new infantry fighting vehicle. It is chain-fed auto cannon that is externally powered, that may be fired in semi-automatic or automatic modes. It can fire an average of 200 rounds per minute and can use 6 types of ammunitions: M792, M791, M793, M910, M919, and MK210. Unlike most automatic firearms the M242 is not operated by gas but instead by a motor with a dual-feed system; making it easy for the gunner to switch between explosive or armor piercing rounds.
Rheinmetall 120 mm gun
The Rheinmetall is one of the vehicle mounted weapons systems commonly found on tanks. It is a smoothbore gun for tanks that was first produced by the Rheinmetall-DeTec AG, a West German company in 1974 to counter the armored threats of Soviet during those times. It is a powerful armament that can fire 120mm ammunitions, can pierce tanks armors, and a range of 4,000 meters or 8,000 with LAHAT – a gun launched missile system that is designed to defeat armored vehicles and aircrafts.
Common Remote Operated Weapons Systems offers the soldiers a unique capability to fire their automobile mounted weapons systems inside the safety of the vehicles. It increases the survivability rate of soldiers and mobility. This system enables the weapon to easily pinpoint enemies in 360 degree angle, day or night or even on the move. It has different sensors, daytime video cameras, thermal camera and laser rangefinder. It can be integrated with any armored vehicle and was designed to save lives and destroy enemy forces.
Redback Weapon System
Redback is remote operated weapons systems that have four 40mm barrels that can instantly fire on multiple targets with different ammunitions. It is a weapon system that can be fitted to any vehicle and provide both offensive lethality and defensive capability. It is designed to intercept multiple rockets propelled grenades using ordinary 40mm ammunitions. It can automatically track and register its targets and select appropriate ammunition for its targets. The ammunitions fired can be delivered one at a time or simultaneously with the operator to choose what the fire rate is and what the ammunitions to use.
M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System
The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System is a mounted rocket artillery weapons systems. It was first designed in the year 1977 and began its production from the year 1980 and ended in 2003. The weapon can fire both guided and unguided projectiles at a range of 42 km. The M270 can fire rockets rapidly in quick succession and quickly move away to counter or evade enemy attacks. This vehicle mounted weapons systems can be equipped with different rocket type artilleries with different ranges.
Unlike other mounted weapons systems that primarily focus on eliminating enemy forces, the Boomerang was developed to protect the vehicle against enemy gunfire from snipers. The Boomerang is group of sensors that detect and measure muzzle blast and supersonic shock wave from a supersonic bullet travelling on air. It then computes and sends the information to the person inside the vehicle the data where the bullet was fired from, the direction and the distance above the ground. This way vehicles like Humvee or any APC easily device a solution in countering enemy fire.
Iron Fist (countermeasure)
The Iron Fist is an active protection system that can be equipped to any vehicle. It senses any threat including a huge variety of rocket-propelled ding grenades, tank fired ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles and kinetic energy penetrators. It can sense any threats using radar and an infrared detector. Whenever there is an imminent danger, an explosive projectile is launched to intercept the incoming threat. The interceptor detonates near the threat destroying, destabilizing or deflecting it but not detonating the warhead.
Overall, vehicle attached weapons systems can only be used by soldiers and any government body that serves to protect its populace or react to possible threats that might likely cause harm. Technological advances like these are clearly weapons that were created to end a war in the most effective and quickest way possible. Who knows what the vehicle mounted weapons systems can be in the near future.