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US Army to remove CROWS from M1 Abrams


Panzer_Leader
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I can't vouch for the article's authenticity but I thought it was very interesting if true.  Apparently the US Army is halting production of the CROWS-LP and directing funds from its manufacture into the removal of CROWS from M1 Abrams where it is installed to return to their original cupola and M2HB installation: http://taskandpurpose.com/army-trying-kill-life-saving-weapons-system/?utm_content=buffera02dd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=tp-buffer

 

Presumably it's got something to do with the downside of the commander's loss of visibility when unbuttoned outweighing the benefits of the system.

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Just now, dta delta said:

Yeah the CROWS break all the time. Too many problems with it and very expensive to replace the parts. 


Not to mention that it blocks the TC's vision by sitting directly to the front of his hatch. Plus, if the TC is firing a .50, things have generally gone south rather quickly. 

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I also dislike the general viewpoint of the author of the article. Her basic argument is that since we spent money on the CROWs, we should use them. She seems to completely miss the point that the CROWs is designed to protect a gunner who would otherwise be without protection from small arms fire. While I could see her point if this was being removed from all HMMWVs or Strykers, it doesn't make sense when applied to the M1A2. 

 

I honestly think the author has a lack of knowledge about the capabilities and the purpose of an MBT. 

Edited by Mirzayev
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13 minutes ago, Gibsonm said:

Well it makes sense, short term "fix" for a specific situation (to suit "the"war).

 

It doesn't make sense as a "fix" for protecting the TC - the TC is already protected inside the Tank. You could make the argument that the CROWS offers more protection for the TC outside the hatch than a gun shield, but this comes at the cost of completely obstructing the TC's frontal view, which both reduces situational awareness and the ability to fight the tank. The CROW also uses the same screen as the tank's BFT/FBCB2/JCR, and uses a separate joystick from the CITV. This means that while the CROW is in use, the TC will lose his ability to both battle-track or communicate using digital means. Also, unless the TC is exceptional at multi-tasking, he will not be able to use effectively scan and designate targets with the CITV at the same time. Yes, there is an auto scan mode, but between monitoring the radio net, giving fire commands, battle-tracking, designating targets, and maneuvering the tank, the CROWS just adds little more than yet another distraction. 

 

The CROWS is a good system that does work on a variety of vehicle platforms, and it does have a place in the US Army. When applied to the M1A2, however, it doesn't add any significant advantages, and creates problems that a flex mount does not have. 

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I don't recall saying the "fix" was to remediate a shortfall in the crew commander's protection?

 

It like most of the TUSK programme was to increase the amount of close (and arguably more agile) firepower that the vehicle could project without the crew exposing itself, along with improving vehicle survivability against close range anto armour weapons.

 

If your choice is to tell the Loader to open up and engage targets with the unprotected M240 or to let them continue to serve the gun and engage targets from under armour via the CROWs then it seems a no brainer.

 

Just like the 0.50" slaved to the gun allows you to fire a few bursts on 0.50" to neutralise a target (taking advantage of the fire control system) as opposed to "wasting" a main armament round.

 

If US Army planners want to revert the vehicle to the logistically sustanable version and remove "add ons"  purchased as an operationally expedient, then it makes sense.

 

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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33 minutes ago, Gibsonm said:

I don't recall saying the "fix" was to remediate a shortfall in the crew commander's protection?

 

Indeed, you didn't. I was referring to the author of the article in question, and that her whole argument of keeping the CROWS was that it afforded the TC a higher level of protection, and that the Army is trying to kill the entire CROWS program by choosing a "less safe and out-of-date" system to replace it with. Her argument that General Abrams is seemingly "reckless" for making this choice does not make sense. 

 

It could be that General Abrams is reverting to a logistically sustainable version, but I suspect that negative feedback from tank crews about the CROWS on the M1A2 is also a factor.  

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Actually there was a proposal to give M1A2SEP capability for commander remote MG while not using CROWS. It was a similiar upgrade like for M1A1 CWS cupola upgrade to SCWS where for remote MG was added thermal sight and full 2 axis stabilization system. So I guess improved ICWS cupola on M1A2 would be renamed SICWS? ;)

otvaga2004_chobitok_12.jpg

 

And if you think about it, perhaps it would be even possible in case of emergency to fit SCWS cupola on to M1A2SEPv3, it uses new more compact electronics so space for cupola power traverse motor is again avaiable.

 

ECP1

 

And here SCWS on M1A1SA and M1A1FEP.

 

 

We can see that stabilization seems to be quiet effective, traverse and elevation is fast. And it looks to be simpler and more elegant design than CROWS is when applied to M1 tank.

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