On Monday, February 22nd, Arquus has officially launched a new division dedicated to the global development and marketing of the company’s Remote-ControlledWeapon Systems: the Hornet Business Unit.
Unveiled for the very first time at IDEX2021, the Hornet Business Unit originates from decades of designing state-of-the-artmilitary vehicles and fitting them with the most advanced equipment. From IDEX 2021on, the Hornet BU will be offering the brand-new RCWS of the Hornet range, namelythe flagship Hornet and the lightweight Hornet Lite.
Expert of land mobility, Arquus has always used its knowledge to create world-defining and iconicvehicles which achieve the perfect equilibrium between mobility, protection, and firepower, thusdominating in the battlefield.
RCWS are now at the heart of modern land combat. They offer protection and accuracy to thegunner, versatility, tactical overview, and collaborative combat capabilities to the commander.
Having designed and engineered systems that deal with system stabilization, weapon adaptationand firing accuracy, Arquus has decided to take up the challenge of combining modern militaryvehicles and efficient weapon systems, built for accuracy, stability, lightness, compacity.
Since 2015, Arquus has been putting together all its on-field expertise and in-house technologies,providing with a complete range of high-performance RCWS: the Hornet family, now offeredworldwide by the Hornet Business Unit.
In 2016, the Hornet RCWS scored their first order from the French Army. The Hornet is now beingdelivered to the French Army, with 1,700 units already ordered and qualified by the French Army.
They provide with unmatchable on-the-move observation, firepower and protection capabilities foronly 220 kg above the roof including an M2HB machine gun with 300 rounds.
Hornet RCWS have been equipping Griffon vehicles since 2019 and will be deployed on all theArmy’s new combat vehicles, namely the Griffon, the Jaguar and the Serval. The Hornet RCWS arekey for the collaborative combat capabilities offered by the Scorpion program, as any RCWS fromany vehicle will be able to react to a threat detected by another vehicle and engage it. They will beat the heart of the Army’s operational deployments in the decades to come.
Building on the experience of the Scorpion program’s RCWS, the Hornet Division now offers high-end remote-controlled weapon stations, fitted with the most advanced technologies and capabilities.
The current offer currently comprises the Hornet, the flagship product of the new RCWS range andthe lightweight Hornet Lite. These systems bring all equipped vehicles to a new level by fullyenhancing their capabilities.
The Hornet RCWS combine the mastery of several highly technical fields: precision engineering andmechanics, secure electronics, optronics, image processing, dynamic electrical servocontrol. Theybenefit from the most modern and advanced technologies: full HD digital image chain, extendedconnectivity with the vetronics, tactical overview sharing thanks to augmented reality. A HornetRCWS provides with the information, reduces the processing time, improves the efficiency of theresponse and ultimately ensures the protection of the vehicles and their crews.
Flagship of the new range, the Hornet offers top-of-the-market performance, especially on the move.It is gyrostabilized from the optronics block, allowing for exceptional stability and accuracy.Fitted with a Sensor Unit designed in close cooperation with the world-class optronics company,Safran Electronics & Defense, the system offers unique performance with a full digital optronics unitand a 13’3 16/9 full HD screen. The Sensor Unit has an uncooled thermal camera and three daylightcameras for wide area awareness and target identification with continuous zoom and an eye-safelaser rangefinder. The user can seamlessly switch between day and night cameras. With its high-performance optics/optronics, the Hornet RCWS also serves as a first-class targeting devicegranting tactical vision and red force tracking to all units in the task group.
The system is C4I agnostic – capable of integration with Arquus Battlenet or any interface systemwith capabilities such as Slew-to- Cue and Far Target Location. It is compatible with the mostadvanced features, such as Blue Force Tracking and augmented reality applications.
Served by ISR rated sensors, a two-axis gyro-stabilized turret and a two-axis detached line of sight,the Hornet delivers highly accurate firing. The first round hit probability is enhanced by asophisticated ballistic solution system that takes various parameters such as weapon, ammunitiontype, range, target motion and vehicle behavior into account. Fire control assistance, optimized man-machine interface and high-class security standards provide a ready-to-use and easy to deployweapon system. The Hornet is qualified with 12.7 M2HB, 7.62 MAG58 and 40 mm HK GPMG. Itsthird, wide-angle camera provides with situational awareness, allowing both the gunner and thecommander to keep a clear picture of their surroundings at all time without getting out of the vehicle.
To increase survivability on the battlefield, the Hornet RCWS is fitted with an exclusive, independentsmoke launcher system which can conceal the vehicle to avoid detection or react immediately to athreat. With the Hornet RCWS, Arquus has a game-changer with an exclusive design based on anindependent ring carrying eight smoke grenade launchers. When an armored vehicle is illuminatedby a laser rangefinder or a beam rider, the Hornet, fitted with a Laser Warning System turns to facethe threat and engages the smoke protection automatically or manually. As the weapon axis and thesmoke grenade axis are independent, the gunner can keep the weapon trained on the tacticalmission underway.
The Hornet RCWS is armored and protected against the threats of the battlefield. It is fitted with ahigh-level native protection to shield all sensitive components, effectively allowing for optimalavailability and survivability in combat. It also comes with a transport mode which covers theoptronics and protects the RCWS’ front.
The Hornet RCWS is also equipped with a world-unique, exclusive cleaning feature whichguarantees the optronics’ availability at all times, including in the most demanding terrains andweather conditions. The RCWS’ gunner is thus able to focus on combat or surveillance operationswithout having to check the system or expose himself outside the vehicle.
On top of the RCWS themselves, the Hornet Business Unit will also be able to offer comprehensivemaintenance and training services to maximize the RCWS’ service performance. These services include digitalized, real-time maintenance support, as well as computer-based simulations and console training.
ARQUUS is a French Defense company, leader of land mobility solutions. Historical partner of the armies, Arquus has more than 25,000 vehicles currently in service in the French Army, 20,000 of which are directly supported by the company. Arquus takes part in the design and production of the new combat vehicles of the French Army, the VBMR GRIFFON and the EBRC JAGUAR, in the framework of a short-term consortium with Nexter and Thales. Arquus is notably in charge of designing and producing the drivelines and the RCWS for these two vehicles. Designer of worldwide famous vehicles such as the VAB, the VBL, the Bastion and the Sherpa, Arquus is a partner to more than 60 armies globally.
Thanks to its own research facilities and the support of the Volvo Group, Arquus constantly innovates on own equity, notably in the fields of energy, automation and systems integration. To optimize the fleets’ life cycle, Arquus offers complete and innovative support offers and capabilities, such as HUMS, virtual reality and additive manufacturing.