Special Weapons Observation Remote recon Direct Action System (SWORDS)
ARMY ARMAMENT RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER PICATINNY ARSENAL NJ
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After leading a 4-man robotic search and rescue team at the World Trade Center, a Non-Commissioned Officer NCO was requested by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center TARDEC to perform a proof of concept in arming a Talon robot. The NCOs choice of armament was the M202 rocket launcher. After the success of the proof of concept, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center ARDEC leadership asked the NCO if he had any other ideas on arming unmanned ground vehicles UGVs. The NCO came up with three ideas 1 Improve the M202 rocket launcher with its own fire control and electric firing pins, 2 A six 6 barrelled 40mm grenade launcher, and 3 The SWORDS. The SWORDS was seen as a very risky endeavour, in cost and schedule, so the NCO enlisted the support of the Associate Technical Director of the U.S. Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center ARDEC. With the ARDEC Associate Technical Directors support the program was fully funded and in the summer of 2003, the NCO and his soldiers demonstrated all three variants to the Special Operations Command at Avon Park Bombing Range, Florida with great success. The SWORDS idea was created by a NCO for soldiers on the battlefield. Today, a Non-Commissioned Officer is the technical manager of the SWORDS program. The Special Weapons Observation Remote recon Direct Action System SWORDS is a spiral developmental program consisting of three spirals. Spiral 1.0 is a combination of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf COTS systems that include the EOD Talon robot used for bomb disposal and the Tele-present Rapid Aiming Platform TRAP weapon mount. Spiral 1.5 which is currently undergoing safety confirmation testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground includes the addition of a M240B machine gun, a roll stop LED on the Operators Control Unit OCU and a laser range finder.
- Ammunition and Explosives