Clear Vision™ for CROWS: Enhancing Target Engagement and Situational Awareness for Military Vehicles
Clear Vision™ for CROWS is a groundbreaking lens-cleaning system designed to enhance the performance of the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) on military vehicles, including the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The CROWS system, developed by Kongsberg Defense Corporation, allows gunners to operate remotely and engage targets while remaining protected within their vehicles. However, environmental factors like frost, rain, dust, dirt, and oil can impair the optics and affect the system’s effectiveness. Clear Vision™ addresses these challenges by providing rapid and effective cleaning of the CROWS optics, ensuring superior target acquisition, and maintaining situational awareness for our soldiers.
Overview of the CROWS System
The CROWS system is a gunner-operated platform that allows military personnel to remotely aim and fire various weapons, including the MK19 Grenade Machine Gun (GMG), M2 Machine Gun, M240 Machine Gun, and M249 Machine Gun, from a stationary position or while on the move. It offers improved target acquisition, identification, and engagement capabilities, providing enhanced lethality and accuracy compared to crew-served weapons operated with traditional gunner protection kits (OGPK).
The CROWS system demonstrated remarkable operational effectiveness during the Initial Operational Test (IOT) conducted in 2009. It enables units to detect and engage targets at long ranges, both while on the move and stationary, surpassing the capabilities of non-CROWS-equipped units. Additionally, CROWS operators benefit from increased protection over OGPK gunners as they can fire remotely, allowing for synchronized target acquisition, maneuvering, and responsive fires during missions such as Convoy Security, Route Reconnaissance, and Overwatch.
However, some limitations were identified during IOT, mainly related to the limited fields of view of the CROWS daytime and nighttime sensors. Operators found it challenging to detect enemy personnel close to the vehicle and to maintain situational awareness of their surroundings, especially in close combat situations. Further testing and improvements are developing to enhance the operator’s ability to acquire dispersed targets rapidly.
The CROWS system surpassed its reliability requirements during IOT, demonstrating its capability to perform essential functions like moving, shooting, and communicating effectively. To ensure continued success, follow-on operational testing will be executed to evaluate the integration of CROWS on different combat vehicles beyond the UAH and MRAP.
Introducing Clear Vision™ for CROWS
Clear Vision™ for CROWS, developed by Ascencioné–Defense™, revolutionizes the CROWS system by offering a cutting-edge lens-cleaning system that maintains optimal performance in challenging environments. By addressing issues caused by frost, rain, dust, dirt, oil, and other contaminants, Clear Vision™ ensures that gunners maintain clear visibility and situational awareness, maximizing the CROWS system’s potential.
Key Features of Clear Vision™
Hydrophobic Fluid Additive: The Clear Vision™ system with a hydrophobic fluid additive cleans optics in wet environments, keeping them transparent even in adverse weather conditions.
Heated Fluid/Air Option
For extreme cold or dusty environments, Clear Vision™ offers a heated fluid/air option, allowing continued use and improved performance of the CROWS system.
With response times of less than 10 milliseconds, Clear Vision™ enables gunners to initiate cleaning operations at the push of a button, deploying compressed air and fluid to restore clear vision and functionality promptly.
Extensible Design: The system’s design is extensible, allowing it to clean cameras and LIDAR in various other applications, such as leader-follower and robotics systems.
Making Common Remotely Operated Weapons more effective
Clear Vision™ for CROWS provides a game-changing solution to the challenges faced by the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station. By offering rapid and effective cleaning capabilities, Clear Vision™ ensures that our soldiers can maintain clear visibility and situational awareness, ultimately enhancing target engagement and mission success. With its advanced features and extensible design, Clear Vision™ will become an indispensable component of the modern battlefield, keeping our troops safe and effective in the most demanding environments.