Brazilian Army Presents Unmanned Turret Technology
By Dialogo October 27, 2011
On October 11, the Brazilian Army officially presented its ‘Guaraní’ medium-sized wheeled armored transport vehicle equipped with a 30-mm unmanned turret. The event was held at the Army Evaluation Center in Rio de Janeiro, where Defense Minister Celso Amorim; the commandant of the Army, General Enzo Peri; and observers from the Argentine Army were present.
With an increase in military operations in urban areas and growing participation in United Nations peace missions, armies from various countries have found themselves confronting the difficulty of using armored vehicles in these areas.
During conflicts in Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and in Haiti, it became evident that because of the vulnerability of their position, gunners on top of military vehicles and their crews could become easy targets for snipers hidden behind walls and on top of buildings.
In the same way, the use of regular forces and the operation of armored vehicles in these areas, where civilians and non-combatants are generally present in large numbers, led to ever-stricter rules of engagement, thereby decreasing the collateral damage caused by military operations.
The need to identify the target and to engage it in a controlled manner, avoiding crossfire in an enclosed area, was one of the reasons, among others, for the development of special systems that increase the vehicles’ precision and firepower, and guarantee the ballistic protection of their operators while decreasing the collateral effects resulting from these operations.
In order to be prepared for future operations with armored vehicles in the tactical situations presented above, the Brazilian Army chose the UT30BR system to equip its new “Guaraní” medium-sized wheeled armored transport vehicle, manufactured by IVECO.
The sniper observation module is a stabilized dual-axis system that basically consists of a CCD day-vision color camera, a night-vision infrared thermographic (IRT) imaging camera, and a laser rangefinder (LRF). This unmanned turret system is manufactured by Brazilian company AEL Sistemas, and is the first of its kind in operation in Latin America.
The commander’s station is an nx360º panoramic vision system, protected by armor and stabilized on two axes, and also contains a CCD day-vision color camera and a night-vision infrared thermographic (IRT) imaging camera. It operates independently of the movement of the tower.
The system allows the commander full capability to take control of the operation and override the sniper. The UT30BR includes two automatic target tracking systems, one for the commander and the other for the sniper, offering a cutting-edge system in terms of operational and decision-making capabilities.
The UT30BR’s weapons consist of a 30-mm main cannon and a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun. The main cannon is an ATK Bushmaster MK44 with two separate, independently loadable ammunition compartments, capable of single shots, automatic fire, or five-shot bursts. The coaxial machine gun, certified in accordance with NATO standard specifications, is a 7.62-mm weapon mounted to the left of the cannon on an adjustable carriage.
The cannon’s ammunition compartment comes preloaded with 200 rounds, divided into two armored compartments (one with 150 rounds and the other with 50). The ammunition for the machine gun is stored, ready for use, in an armored, removable compartment with a capacity of 690 rounds. The UT30 includes a day/night, electro-optical vision system, stabilized on two axes and with a panoramic view for the commander, and a day/night, electro-optical vision system for the sniper, stabilized on two axes, with an integrated laser rangefinder, ballistic computer, “hunter-killer” operation and Automatic Target Tracking (ATT) capability, an ELAWS-45 laser detection system, and militarized LCD color monitors, control panels, and multi-function switches.
It is a complete fire-control system, stabilized on two axes, electronically controlled for elevational and rotational (azimuth) movements.
The UT30 allows the sniper or commander (only one crew member is needed to operate the UT30BR) to control the weapon system remotely, from inside the vehicle, and acquire land targets as well as targets at high altitude while the vehicle is both, stationary or moving, during day or night under any weather conditions, and at any distance. The tower can be positioned along an nx360° circle (unlimited number of turns) and at elevations from -15° to +60°.
The UT30BR may be equipped for the integration and installation of an Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) system, equipped with a laser designator and integrated into the sniper observation system, a laser rangefinder integrated into the commander’s panoramic observation system, and a remote control station (total control of the tower, including movement and fire) for operation inside or outside the armored transport vehicle. The interface with the vehicle platform will be designed to optimize the angle of depression when firing.
I wonder, why the GuaranÃ name?