Remote Weapons Station video

Have a number of cool things that I wanted to get posted for today, but a time crunch last night has put me a little behind. If Murdoc could blog full time, we wouldn’t have this problem, would we? Click on some ads or something…

Anyway, one thing I’d like to get some feedback on is a video over at the Danger Room. It reportedly shows an

XM-151 Remote Weapons Station emptying its magazine of .50-caliber bullets — and then turning towards the camera, looking for new targets to nail. I’m told — but cannot confirm — that this footage was shot during a demonstration for VIPs, and that several members of Congress would’ve been in serious jeopardy, had the weapon not run out of ammo.

A couple of things stand out to me. First, the weapons mount certainly doesn’t appear to be a standard RWS. See this post for more on the M151, including pictures and info on the upcoming upgrades.

Secondly, the RWS is remote-controlled, not automated. A human is inside the vehicle, controlling the weapon. Noah at Danger Room confirms that he doesn’t have the full story on this video, but he says that he’s “90%+” sure that this was a demonstration of an automated system. Given the number of advanced weapons always in development (and on display for Congress in hopes of attracting budget dollars), this certainly doesn’t seem out of the realm of the possible.

Finally, the weapon itself doesn’t look like a .50 cal to me, and it certainly isn’t the standard Ma Duce we see on Strykers. It also isn’t a Mk19 40mm grenade launcher. Note the ammunition feed. Yesterday while looking at the video with a buddy, I said it looked and sounded like it could be a 25mm or 30mm chain gun. I googled around a bit, but didn’t find anything. A commenter at Danger Room claims it’s a 30mm off of an Apache attack helicopter. Does anyone have any info on this?

For the record, Murdoc continues to believe that a Stryker armed with a 25mm chain gun could be valuable. Something along the lines of the Canadian or New Zealand LAV IIIs. (Both of those posts are fairly old…in one I wrote that I didn’t expect the 120mm gun-armed Stryker MGS would ever be fielded. I am perfectly happy being wrong about that one.)

UPDATE: Well, shoot. The video no longer appears to be available. [UPDATE Again: It’s back.]

Still, if anyone knows anything about the incident let me know.

UPDATE 3: Danger Room updated the post after being contacted by someone who was there. It is a 30mm chain gun. Noah updated the original post so go look for more details.


  1. I think it is a .50 cal system. The barrel does not appear thick enough to type it in the 25mm or larger category. Perhaps it’s a variant of the experimental XM312 (lightweight M2 replacement)? The cyclic rate is slow enough from the description of the XM 312 at: What’s everybody else think? In any event——–I’m thinkin’ we need to give CyberDyn systems a call and tell them to get their software bleep together before the damn thing takes over the world! LOL! BTW—–while I’m no engineer, wouldn’t it be a good idea to install mechanical traverse stops on the ‘automated’ weapon mount ‘before’ the test, to prevent it from pointing in an unwanted direction? Perhaps I’m just being gunshy?