The Marine Corps’ Anti-Tank Weapon System (ATWS) for its light armored vehicles is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019, officials announced last Thursday, two years after reaching initial operating capability.
Officials have scheduled two final training events for the weapon system, which is intended to provide an upgraded turret system for the Marines’ Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) anti-tank variants.
“This vehicle equips anti-tank gunner Marines with a modern capability that helps them maintain readiness and lethality to complete their mission,” Maj. Christopher Dell, an LAV Operations officer, said in a statement.
Raytheon [RTN] is providing the upgraded anti-tank system to the Marine Corps.
ATWS fires TOW missiles and provides long-range stand-off anti-armor support, while offering improved observational capabilities in all climates.
“Marines using the new ATWS are immediately noticing the changes, including a new far target location capability, a commander/gunner video sight display, a relocated gunner’s station, and an electric elevation and azimuth drive system, which replaced the previous noisy hydraulic system,” Steve Myers, LAV program manager, said in a statement.
The Marine Corps achieved initial operational capability with ATWS in September 2017 after fielding the first four Anti-Tank LAVs with the upgraded turret system to a Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.
Myers said there are now 58 ATWS-outfitted LAV’s in service, and 91 of a total 106 kits have been delivered to the Marine Corps.
“Now [Marine Corps Systems Command’s] focus is directed at the Marine Corps Forces Reserve, ensuring they receive the same quality NET and support as their active counterparts,” Myers said.