EOS Awards Contract to MSI for Remote Weapon Station Hand Controls

WALLINGFORD, CT, June 19, 2006.  Under a $418,000 contract with Electro Optic Systems Pty, Canberra, Australia, Ultra Electronics Measurement Systems Inc. (Ultra MSI) is supplying high reliability control grips for use in the U. S. Army’s Common Remote Operated Weapon Station (CROWS). The remote weapon stations are being mounted on Hum-Vees and other smaller army vehicles for deployment in Iraq and are designed to acquire and engage targets in 360-degree coverage, while remaining within the protection of a moving Up-Armored vehicle.

Under its initial contract with Electro Optical Systems (EOS), Ultra MSI will supply 171 of its popular 1505 Aluminum Control Grips outfitted with high integrity two axis, fingertip operated controls. These controls use Ultra MSI’s patented piezoresistive strain gauge force transducer (Force Joystick) technology, the company’s first patented product and one that revolutionized the joystick industry over 40 years ago. Although competitors continue their attempts to copy this technology, Ultra MSI maintains its position as the industry leader in the design and manufacture of high integrity military and commercial force joystick solutions, with literally hundreds of thousands of units delivered worldwide.

EOS is an Australian company specializing in the design, development and production of sophisticated laser technologies. Its CROWS system fires from a position on top of the vehicle, while the operator uses hand controls within the safer confines inside the vehicle, thereby reducing dangerous exposure to enemy fire. The CROWS and its successor program, CROWS Lightening, along with several other remote weapon station programs, could eventually total 9000 weapons stations ordered by the American military.

Seeking Enhanced Protection for Soldiers

Prior to the war in Iraq, few remote weapons stations on ground vehicles were being used in the field. With soldiers at high risk during manual gun operation outside their vehicles, the U.S. Army recognized the importance of improving gunner protection under battlefield conditions. The army began working with several contractors in the development of downscaled remote weapons stations that could be deployed on smaller combat vehicles. The result was the remote-controlled CROWS, with a sensor suite that permits target engagements under day and night conditions and includes a daytime video camera, image intensifier, heavy thermal weapon sight and laser rangefinder.

Rugged, Lightweight Hand Control Technology

Ultra MSI’s 1505 aluminum hand control grip is one of the most popular hand control designs currently used by U.S. and foreign military customers for many different applications, with literally tens of thousands of grips deployed throughout all branches of the military. The 1505 is a simple, ergonomic, ambidextrous hand control with a uniform and consistent feel for the gunner on all joystick directional maneuvering. Its grip configuration utilizing a miniature joystick as a thumb control enhances tracking tasks in turbulent environments because only the mass of the thumb is involved, not that of the hand or arm. The quality and performance of Ultra MSI’s hand control together with the CROWS system are expected to offer the Army numerous tactical advantages in the field as part of the military’s new rapid fielding effort.

Ultra Electronics Measurement Systems Inc is the expert in precision Human Machine Interface (HMI) and electronic hardware solutions and including hand controls/grips, joysticks, trackballs and integrated systems. With the broadest line of products and accessories in the industry, and a proven track record of solving customer problems, Ultra MSI is recognized as the leading designer and manufacturer of positioning and tracking controls and systems for military and commercial applications.


More information

For more information information on any of our products, please contact us.