With the LANCE turret system the art of engineering reaches new heights
Ever since antiquity, the mobile assault tower has been firmly established among the machinery of war. While the Greeks opted for megalomania and intimidation, the Romans, with their turris ambulatoria, or siege tower, chose a more modular and mobile design that could more easily be adapted to the target in question. Over 2,000 years later, the basic Roman idea – flexible and as well protected as possible with plenty of firepower for defending against attackers – has not changed much. However, the design of the latest turret systems for wheeled and tracked armored vehicles no longer has anything to do with their ancient, wooden archetypes. Turret systems such as LANCE or its remotely controlled brother LANCE RC from Rheinmetall Defence are masterpieces of innovative engineering ingenuity. Furthermore, with their enormous potential for enhancement, these modern turrets are already prepared for the challenges of coming decades.
Rheinmetall has been one of the leading suppliers of turret systems for more than five decades. More than 6,000 turrets, fully loaded with high technology, have been delivered to various customers worldwide so far. Moreover, the systems supplier is one of the leading providers of fire control systems and medium- and large-caliber weapons, with more than 10,000 deliveries around the world. Its expertise in wheeled and tracked vehicle technology is also extensive. All this knowledge has now been incorporated into the LANCE turret as a particularly modular, mobile and modern system.
“The LANCE turret system underlines the goal of Rheinmetall to supply armed forces with a comprehensive range of modular systems,” explains Andreas Riedel, Head of the turret systems product unit at Rheinmetall Landsysteme.
“At a time of unforeseeable challenges for military deployments, the greatest possible flexibility in the combination of technology means maximum freedom of action for military decision-makers.”
In fact, the technical variability of LANCE is almost limitless. The turret and its weapon can be integrated in almost any armored wheeled or tracked vehicle and is thus highly mobile. As Riedel says, “This means that not only soldiers deployed in their armored vehicles are protected against ballistic threats, mines and explosive traps, but they can also engage the enemy with precise firepower at the same time.”
The main weapon is the MK30-2 / ABM automatic cannon, developed and built by Rheinmetall. The use of this cannon brings a host of advantages for the vehicle crew. The turret has a reserve of 200 rounds of two different ammunition types for the main weapon. This means that the weapon can be resupplied with ammunition without the soldiers having to leave the protected vehicle interior. The turret also enables moving targets to be engaged accurately and effectively even when the vehicle itself is moving. Naturally, other weapons of various calibers or from other suppliers can also be integrated in the LANCE turret. Full flexibility is ensured in this respect as well.
The LANCE is equipped with a state-of-the-art, fully digital fire control system. Two electro-optical sights – each equipped with a high-resolution camera, a thermal imaging camera and a laser rangefinder – are also provided. One of the sights enables 360-degree visibility, irrespective of the movement of the turret. Of particular benefit is the fact that each system can be operated both by the commanding officer and by the gunner. With LANCE RC, the modular design also allows the turret system to be remotely controlled.
As well as the base version, a range of additional equipment can be integrated. A Situational Awareness System (SAS), an independent weapons station, C4I systems for network-enabled operations and an additional sight for the commanding officer are just a few examples of the virtually endless expansion possibilities. All of this means that the LANCE turret is ready for the future today.