Video of the US military CROWS Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station Machine Gun in action during live fire test exercises.
The Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) is a United States military term for remote weapon station systems for use within armoured vehicles. The US military has fielded both the M101 CROWS and M153 CROWS II systems.
The CROWS system provides an operator with the ability to acquire and engage targets while inside a vehicle, protected by its armor. It is designed to mount on a variety of vehicle platforms and supports the MK19 Grenade Machine Gun, .50 Caliber M2 Machine Gun, M240B Machine Gun, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The system is composed of two parts: the mount which is fixed to the exterior of the vehicle and the control group.
The mount is capable of 360-degree rotation and −20 to +60-degree elevation and is gyro-stabilized. It is capable of mounting a variety of crew-served weapons, to include the M2 .50-cal Machine Gun, the Mk19 40-mm Automatic Grenade Machine Gun, the M240B 7.62 mm Machine Gun and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The sight package includes a daylight video camera, a thermal camera and an eye-safe laser rangefinder. It is also furnished with a fully integrated fire control system that provides ballistic correction. The weight of the weapon station varies accordingly due to different armament modules: 74 kg (163 lb) light, 135 kg (298 lb) standard (including the naval version), and 172 kg (379 lb) for CROWS II.
The control group mounts inside the vehicle (behind the driver's seat on the Humvee). It includes a display, switches and joystick to provide full remote control of the weapon system. This enables the fighting crew to operate from inside armored combat vehicles, while still maintaining the ability to acquire and engage targets.
Protecting the machine gunner of military vehicles due to its ability to be remote controlled the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station Machine Gun makes it a ultimate military defense weapon.