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Boeing Has Humvee Shooting Two Types Of Missiles

By | August 21, 2006

      HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Boeing Co. [BA] is offering military forces an advancement making Humvees into launching pads for multiple types of missiles.

      The new Agile Multi-role Weapons System (AMWS) can be vastly more effective than current weapons gear on Humvees, and the company hopes to sell the AMWS upgrade for some 1,100 existing Avenger-equipped Humvees now employed by the Army, Marines, and Army National Guard, according to Debra Rub-Zenko, Boeing vice president of integrated missile defense.

      Overseas sales also are possible, she said in a briefing for defense journalists during the 2006 Space and Missile Defense Conference.

      The key message here: the newly upgraded AMWS provides a quantum leap in providing defense against airborne and ground threats, for the military and homeland security applications.

      The AMWS system involves a turret on a Humvee. While old versions of the Avenger system could take on air threats with ground-to-air missiles, the AMWS also adds ground-to- ground missiles.

      “We could quickly retrofit the turrets of existing Avengers,” Rub-Zenko said. She outlined the multiple advancements offered in that upgrade:

      The AMWS turret swivels 360 degrees, instead of the old-unit 180 degrees.

      Rather than being exposed to threats by standing up in the turret, the weapons controller for the AMWS is protected, stationed in the Humvee passenger seat facing a video screen and controller providing a clear view of targeting information.

      That AMWS control unit can be removed from the Humvee and taken a short distance away, controlling the AMWS weapons systems remotely.

      The turret-mounted weapons systems can be swapped in and out of the turret quickly and easily by two soldiers. One possible configuration would include Stinger ground-to-air missiles on one side, and a separate launcher for Javelin ground-to-ground missiles on the other.

      Those two types of missile launchers flank an upgraded Bushmaster .50 caliber machine gun.

      To target the bad guys, there is forward looking infrared radar and a laser range finder.

      While the AMWS is designed to attack enemies while the on the move, vehicle-mounted, it also can work from a permanent location.

      The gun that previously could be fed from a 250-rounds ammo capacity now has 650 rounds at the ready.

      Eight of these systems now are in Iraq and performing “quite well,” she said.

      The cost per unit for AMWS would depend on the volume of the order, she said in response to a question, but she termed the AMWS “an affordable multi-weapon system.”

      As for overseas demand, she answered another question by saying that the Egyptian government is procuring something more than 20 AMWS systems, though she declined to provide a specific number.

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