The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) recently signed a research agreement with Kongsberg to demonstrate a weapon system with autonomous target identification, recognition and engagement, the company said Sept. 23.

NSWCDD is developing the Automated Remote Engagement System (ARES), which increases the efficiency of remote weapons systems and remote turrets. Under this new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), the ARES will be integrated onto Kongsberg Remote Weapon Stations “to evaluate technology performance at a system level and support the demonstration of a weapon system for autonomous target identification, recognition, and engagement,” the company said.

The shared goal of the CRADA is to demonstrate the ARES performance on Kongsberg’s newest weapon systems to be fielded in the U.S. Navy. This includes the Tech Refresh Common Remote Operation Weapon System (CROWS), RT20 turret on the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and the Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS). MADIS seeks to field a counter-drone system integrated on the Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.

Kongsberg said in this CRADA it is leveraging work it has previously done as the remote lethality architecture provider for the U.S. Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program.

The company underscored before the CRADA selection, it has worked on several other Marine Corps programs in the last two years. This includes fielding CROWS on the ACV and the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), the selection of the Kongsberg RS6 30x113mm RWS for the MADIS program, the company’s RT20 30x173mm turret was selected as the ACV medium caliber weapon system, and various Kongsberg RWS are the weapon systems on the prototypes selected for the Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV).

“Kongsberg brings more than twenty years of remote-control weapon technology of different sizes, complexity and payloads and is an ideal partner for this co-development effort with NSWCDD,” the company said.

Kongsberg said it has also developed a fire control system that can be wireless operated and controlled by a robotic operator.

“This independently funded fire control system for RWS and medium caliber turrets is capable of interacting with ARES and will be demonstrated through this CRADA,” the company added.

This agreement follows several tests of remote weapons firing from Army platforms using Kongsberg equipment.

In June, the Army held its first live fire test with its Robotic Combat Vehicle-Medium (RCV-M) prototype which included firing from a Kongsberg Protector RT40 wirelessly-operated remote weapon station (Defense Daily, Aug. 5).

Likewise, in July Kongsberg used four configurations of its Protector RS6 remote weapon stations on two light combat vehicles and two unmanned ground vehicles in an Army test. The RS6 is the same system selected by the Marine Corps for the MADIS program (Defense Daily, July 19).