The evolution to smaller, more powerful weapon systems

Published 17 October 2023 | Military Times

By Todd South

In an ever-changing landscape of modern warfare, staying ahead of technological advancements is not just a luxury; it's a necessity. This in-depth interview with Brigadier General (Ret) Phil Coker, CEO for EOS Defense Systems USA Inc., provides valuable insights into the cutting-edge weapon systems that are shaping the future of armed conflict. From remote-operated weapon systems fitted on Stryker vehicles to lasers designed to counter drones, Phil lays out EOS' strategy and vision. Focusing on critical conflict zones like Ukraine, the discussion explores the urgent need for enhanced manoeuvrability and versatile capabilities on the battlefield. Watch and read on to discover how integrated, multi-platform systems are emerging as the future of modern warfare.

(00:00) So in recent years, the Army's added new weapon systems, and due capabilities to existing platforms. Some of those were remote operated weapon systems, they put on Stryker vehicles and others. Some included lasers to dazzle different types of drones. That's evolving into more and more systems, on smaller and smaller packages.

(00:17) Everything from robotic systems, to light tanks, to drones. And one example we're seeing here, is a variety of platforms with different types of packages, such as EOS Defense Systems. We talked with their CEO a little bit, about what they're doing with those systems, in different sizes and different configurations. The real thing you've gotta understand, is there's a story behind just about everything we do, and the story here is that drones and anti-tank guided missiles are dominating the battlefield.

(00:39) You can't drive for 10 minutes in Ukraine, without somebody taking a shot at you, because they can see you and they can react to you. We've gotta come up with something that will overcome that. If you've got a front that's 600 miles long, and that's the front they're fighting, you've gotta be able to move your capability, around that battlefield or you won't be able, to overcome the loss of 20% of your land. So what we are trying to do, is restore that capability to manoeuvre. And

(01:06) one of the things we've done, is we've certainly put together the R800, so it's a standard direct fire killer. It's got the 30 by 173 Northrop Grumman Cannon on it, lovely Cannon Bushmaster, kill out to about three and a half kilometers. Very, very lethal, very accurate, very effective.

(01:25) We've also got a 7.62 coax machine gun, and that machine gun is a standard, across many armies in a number of different names. And that machine gun you can take, off of a standard arms room, put it onto our system, and we'll kill a drone out at seven, 800 meters, with 7.

(01:45) 62 rounds that cost a dollar a piece. And so, you can get a $30 kill at, in literally seconds simply because our sensor unit, is as good as it is and the mount is as good as it is. The third thing we got on here is the Javelin missile. And the Javelin has been so good in Ukraine, that they named a saint after it.

(02:06) You go down to downtown Kiev, and there are six-story buildings, with the image painted on the side, it's fantastic. So that missile will kill at the four kilometers, and it'll kill just about any armored vehicle, on the battlefield.

(02:23) All of that together is a lovely system, to counter just about any challenge, you've got on the battlefield. But to that we have added, a one-kilowatt laser. What that gives you the capacity to do, is actually two things. Where I said the drone was a challenge. It will blind a drone out at a good distance, and make that drone unable to see the target, they're trying to affect.

(02:45) So they can't bang into ya, they can't call artillery on ya, they can't affect ya. The other thing it will do is, if you're firing an anti-tank guided missile at me, I can make that system blink. I could cause it to reset, which takes a long time, and as it's resetting, the missile is flying away. And so all the way around, this is a system we hope will help restore mobility, to the battlefield in a very, very difficult time.

(03:09) And the system is one of a couple different options. You have an R600, R400, different kind of packages and platforms. Can you talk about the versatility, of ways you can employ the system, altogether and still have some of the same options, to kill drones and do other things? Sure, all of our systems use exactly the same software.

(03:26) So when we innovate to do just about anything, we can put it on our lightest systems, or we can put it on our heaviest systems. So if a customer says, "I want to kill a drone, with a 7.62 on that coax," all of our systems will do that. So, the laser is another good example.

(03:43) If I want to blind, and I want it on a very light platform, I've got the R150, and it will go on just about anything. And so that commonality, that family approach, to being able to offer lethality packages, is tremendously important. And it's something that an Army needs. You don't want to buy a solution, for every single family or for every single system.

(04:07) What you want to do is you want to upgrade the family once. You only want to pay for it once. Now, one thing with any kind of system you have, you're gonna have different kind of, physics play a role, you know, a platform moves, even a stationary platform, a mount's gonna move after that first round. I see a little antenna thing on the back.

(04:27) That's actually something, I haven't seen before, that's quite intriguing, can you talk a little about, what's happening on the back of the mount? Sure, the first thing you're looking at there is, we've got a dual antenna setup on that, and it's got all of our waveforms. So the challenge we've got with unmanned systems, is they don't have a driver, they don't have a gunner.

(04:51) So how do you get all of your data, into your fire control systems? And then how do you get it out of there, and how do you know where you are? How do you see the targeting data? And that dual antenna is there to solve all of those challenges. So when you're working with your team, and you're trying to get things done, it's all one system.

(05:10) And it's all tied into a single network. And that's really what you're gonna find, is the future of combat, is not gonna be this platform, or that platform, it's gonna be everybody, tied into one network. And it's an exciting time to be part of the industry.

(05:26) Fantastic. Thank you for speaking with us.

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