Elbit unveils lightweight UT30 dome

Elbit Systems has designed a lighter variant of its Unmanned Turret UT30, which can be carried by 6×6 and even 4×4 tactical ground vehicles.

According to Janes, a company spokesperson confirmed that the lightweight UT30 Mk 3 has already been manufactured and integrated into a 6×6 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, and revealed this information at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition which will be held approximately was held in Bucharest two weeks ago. Serial deliveries are currently underway. However, the spokesperson did not reveal who the customer was or where live-fire exercises with a Cougar 6×6 MRAP had been held.

The lightweight UT30 features the same 30 x 173mm MK44 air burst ammunition cannon and sensor payloads as Elbit’s UT30 Mk 2. Weight savings come from a new design concept and a reduction in the level of protection, the spokesperson said, adding that the new turret weighs approximately one tonne.

The Elbit spokesperson also informed Janes that the company is exploring the possibility of integrating the Lightweight UT30 into Oshkosh Defense’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which is in service with the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. Additional vehicles are operated by Brazil, Mongolia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The website reported that Elmet International, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, presented at BSDA variants of the UT30 Mk 2, integrated into a variety of vehicles, including Hanwha’s Redback infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), which is being offered for a requirement expected to being pursued by the Romanian forces. In this particular configuration, the turret also features a pair of Rafael Spike LR 1/2 anti-tank guided missiles and Elbit’s Iron Fist active protection system.

Elbit’s UT30 Mk 2 was also displayed on General Dynamics European Land Systems’ Austro-Spanish Cooperative Development (ASCOD) and Piranha IFVs, the latter currently in service with the Romanian Armed Forces.

According to Janes’ analysis, the integration of a 30mm turret is a significant upgrade for a 6×6 MRAP, which deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and was optionally equipped with a 12.7mm remote weapon station.

To date, Elbit has delivered 62 UT30 Mk 2 30mm turrets, 28 Overhead Remote Controlled Weapon Station (ORCWS) 12.7mm weapon stations and 12 120mm Spear-Cardom mortars for General Dynamics in Romania under the Piranha 5 program. A further 88 UT30 Mk 2 30mm turrets, 39 ORCWS 12.7mm weapon stations and 18 120mm Spear-Cardom mortars are under contract and expected to be delivered in the next 10 to 12 months.

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