Sweden orders Australian weapons stations

Sept. 7, 2011 at 9:28 AM
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INGLEBURN, Australia, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Sweden has ordered 60 protected weapon stations from Australian firm W&E Platt to provide firepower and protection to vehicle gunners.

The weapons stations will equip the latest batch of RG32M 4x4 mine hardened patrol vehicles recently ordered from BAE Systems OMC South Africa for the Swedish army.

More than 100 Swedish RG32M vehicles are equipped with MR550 series protected ring mounts, a number of which have seen operational service in Afghanistan.

The MR550 Bi-Metal Ring Mount is the latest variant of the Platt MR550 Protected Ring Mount series, which has also been ordered by Brazil where it has been installed on a dozen prototypes of the new Iveco VBTP 6x6 armored personnel carrier.

Tailored for wheeled and tracked armored vehicles with a gross vehicle mass of less than 10 tons or larger vehicle designs sensitive to changes in center-of-gravity, the MR550 Bi-Metal Ring Mount weighs less than 881 pounds and features a dual layer of spaced armor to save weight but provide high protection levels against improvised explosive devices, small arms fire and shell splinters.

The spaced armor solution combines two different material types and provides upgradeable protection from STANAG Level 1 up to STANAG Level 3.

The MR550 Bi-Metal Shielded Ring Mount can be equipped with a range of weapons, including the M2HB 12.7mm heavy machine gun, Mk 19 40mm automatic grenade launcher or HK 40mm Grenade Machine Gun, MAG-58/M240 7.62mm general purpose machine gun and the Minimi/M249 5.56mm light machine gun.

The ring mount is manually operated via gearbox and traverses through 360 degrees.

Maximum weapon elevation is plus 60 degrees and depression minus 30 degrees.

In Swedish service the MR550 Bi-Metal Shielded Ring Mount has been seen with a multi-spectral stick-on camouflage system, outwardly similar to the Barracuda system from Saab.

Delivery of the first ring mounts for Sweden will start this year, with final deliveries scheduled for early 2012.

The order includes protective covers and 60 adjustable Gunner Stands, also designed by Platt.

In addition to Sweden and Brazil, Platt has most recently supplied around 120 MR550 Composite Ring Mounts for the British army's new Warthog protected all terrain vehicles.

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