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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

08 February 2014

SAMSON Remote Weapon Station (RWS) Family

Globally integrated on thousands of fielded ground and naval platforms, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ SAMSON family of advanced remote weapon stations (RWS) capitalises on extensive combat experience with a deep understanding of emerging military needs.

SAMSON 30 + SPIKE (Photo: Rafael)

Designed for high performance and survivability on land and at sea, the SAMSON RWS have been adapted to a wide variety of main battle tanks, trucked and wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APC) and marine craft.

The SAMSON Family is offered in six land configurations and two naval configurations. SAMSON RWS support diverse, interchangeable weapons and sensors including 5.56/7.62/12.7mm machine guns, 40mm automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles, observation pods, and non-lethal capabilities.

Deployed in over 25 countries under rigorous combat and environmental conditions, these robust weapon stations are a dependable force multiplier and trusted partner for the most challenging missions.

Battle-proven land applications include thousands of RWS for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Czech Republic Army, the UK Royal Armed Forces, and many others. Rafael is currently the sole supplier of RWS to the IDF.

Breakthroughs in RWS Development

Under-Armor Reloading

The superior capabilities and performance of Rafael's RWS have been further enhanced by various ingenious force survivability multipliers, including in-hull ammunition reloading which enables uninterrupted operation while minimising the crew’s exposure to life-threatening battlefield dangers. The patented system is loaded from under the deck, and in addition to its operational benefit, is ergonomically designed for loader convenience and operation with minimum effort and maximum consideration of physical health.

Non-Lethal Capabilities

The newest addition to the SAMSON RWS family is its Non-Lethal (NL) capability which bases its response on all human biological senses. Whether employed for crowd control or other urban scenarios, the Samson NL capability provides the symmetrical response required to alleviate potentially explosive situations.

The SAMSON NL concept is based on a five-sense response and the dual use of the RWS; interchangeable for NL and L use.

Members of the SAMSON RWS Family:


The SAMSON Mini dual-axis, gyro-stabilized RWS is designed for use on light wheeled or tracked combat vehicles, fast attack boats and other platforms requiring improved offensive capabilities. The system enables target engagement with enhanced accuracy, while maximising crew protection from enemy fire. This single-weapon RWS accommodates a variety of armaments including a 5.56mm SAW and LMG, 7.62 mm GPMG and Gatling gun, 12.7 mm HMG, 14.5 mm, 40 mm AGL, ATGM launcher, ASM, fed by high-capacity magazines. Supported by a ballistics-protected multi-sensor Sight Pod, with an optional mechanism for super elevation ballistic angle calculations, the Samson Mini provides a ‘round-the-clock response to high-manoeuvring battlefield challenges.

SAMSON Mini RWS (Photo: Rafael)


The SAMSON Dual is a dual-axis, gyro-stabilized RWS that simultaneously mounts two weapons. Developed originally to carry a 25-30mm lightweight weapon as main armament and 7.62mm secondary weapon for short range engagements, the Samson Dual enables multiple-threat handling in high-mobility scenarios. Much more robust than equivalent systems, the SAMSON Dual is also strong enough to incorporate an ATGM Launcher as a force multiplier. Featuring a special mode that decouples the weapons from the sight pod, this SAMSON configuration is also ideal for reconnaissance and peace-keeping missions.


The new SAMSON 30mm MKII is a 30mm Weapon RWS designed for use on any modern light-armoured, high-mobility fighting vehicle, new or upgraded, without modifications. It mounts main and secondary armaments, of Eastern and Western origins, including a 30/40 mm automatic cannon, 40 mm AGL (optional), and 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. Additional mountable force multipliers include ATGM launchers, ASM, and SGL obscurants. Equipped with a dual-axis, gyro-stabilized, retractable, dual-sight, weapon mounting system, and the system's configuration provides the commander with full "hunt-kill" capabilities without interfering with the Gunner's current missions.

Main Advantages of the SAMSON RWS Family

Commonality and Affordability

Members of the SAMSON RWS family share many of the same sub-assemblies, which have been fully tested and qualified, utilizing the same infrastructure. By employing the same installation, operation, and maintenance concepts, the entire assimilation process becomes faster and much simpler...

Optimised Survivability Design

The survivability of the crew is heightened as operation and ammunition reloading (Rafael proprietary patent-pending) is carried out from inside the hull (in the SAMSON Dual and the New SAMSON 30mm MKII RWS).

Environmental Compliance

The RWS is designed in compliance with MIL-STD-810F for both ground and marine applications including salt fog, humidity, fungus, etc. Rafael’s SAMSON Mini RWS has an identical marine counterpart called the Mini-TYPHOON. The Mini-TYPHOON is operational in the US Navy Special Forces.

Precision and Lethality

For highly lethal response in urban settings and high-off-the-ground threat response scenarios, the basic gun elevation/depression of +60° to -20°, has been upgraded in the New SAMSON 30mm to +70° gun elevation. The SAMSON RWS systems have first-hit accuracy for high battlefield lethality and auto tracking capability for accurate shooting-on-the-move.

High Versatility

The systems are fully compatible with a wide variety of interchangeable weapons without the need for modifications, making them especially versatile for any land and naval combat missions.

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