Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station

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12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun mounted on Katlanit RCWS
12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun mounted on Katlanit RCWS

The Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS), also known as Katlanit (קטלנית in Hebrew: "lethal", female inflection) is a Remote Weapon System that enables a variety of devices to be operated automatically or by remote control, including 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, and 12.7 mm machine guns, 40 mm automatic grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles and observation pods.[1] There are a total of three variants of the Samson family:

  • Samson Jr. ROWS - for 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm machine guns, weighing 60–75 kg (132–165 lb).
  • Mini Samson ROWS - for 12.7 mm and 14.5 mm machine guns, as well as 40 mm grenade launcher, weighing 140–160 kg (310–350 lb), similar to that of Mini Typhoon naval ROWS and OWS.
  • Standard Samson - for guns with calibre ranging from 20–40 mm (0.79–1.57 in), weighing 1.5 tonnes (1.5 long tons; 1.7 short tons), similar to that of standard Typhoon naval ROWS and OWS.

For example, the Samson Remote Controlled Weapon System for 30 mm Cannon is designed to be mounted on lightly-armoured, high-mobility military vehicles and operated by a gunner or vehicle commander operating under-the-deck. It offers optional SPIKE guided missile, smoke grenade launcher, and embedded trainer. The RCWS 30 is a product of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.[2]

Israel has also installed a variant of the Samson RCWS in pillboxes along the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier intended to prevent Palestinian militants from entering its territory.[3]

The Sentry Tech system, dubbed Roeh-Yoreh (Sees-Fires) in IDF service deployed on the Gaza fence, enables camera operators located in a rear-located intelligence base to engage border threats using the 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and the SPIKE guided missile. Dozens of alleged terrorists have been shot with the Sentry Tech system. The first reported killing of an individual appears to have taken place during Operation Cast Lead in December 2008.[4]


Map of Samson operators in blue

Current operators[edit]