Title:
Gun Mount
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A folding weapon mount installed on the deck of a carrier vehicle. In one folding configuration the profile of the vehicle, mount and mounted weapon is lowest with respect to the profile obtained in an upright configuration. The folding is achieved by the rotation of a threaded shaft which changes the distance between two parallel lower axes. Appropriate legs pivotally respectively connect each lower axis to one parallel upper axis serving also as a weapon bearing cross bar.



Inventors:
Berkovich, Eyal (Haifa, IL)
Chachamian, Shimon (Kiriat Hayim, IL)
Avirbrach, Elazar (Carmiel, IL)
Kiperwas, Yehuda (Kiriat Yam, IL)
Application Number:
11/569967
Publication Date:
03/06/2008
Filing Date:
06/02/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
235/400
International Classes:
F41A23/00; B41J2/01; F41A23/20; G06G7/80; F41A
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090205238Electromechanical firearm restAugust, 2009Willis Jr.
20080083319Charging HandleApril, 2008Richeson
20100011948Armored cab for vehiclesJanuary, 2010Johnson et al.
20080034954Stabilizing mount for hands-on and remote operation of cameras, sensors, computer intelligent devices and weaponsFebruary, 2008Grober
20060288853Collateral Cavity Electromagnetic Propulsion GunsDecember, 2006Frasca
20080092729Optically transmissive armor compositeApril, 2008Cook
20090072569METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR FABRICATION OF COMPOSITE ARMOR LAMINATES BY PREFORM STITCHINGMarch, 2009Engelbart
20090044694Adjustable louvered armor window systemFebruary, 2009Allor et al.
20050262993Targeting systemsDecember, 2005Nurse
20100000396FIREARM HAVING A HANDLE ASSEMBLY FOR CHARGING AND FORWARD ASSISTJanuary, 2010Brown
20050132875Locked automatic and semi-automatic firearmsJune, 2005Murello



Primary Examiner:
HAYES, BRET C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YORAM TSIVION (PARDES HANNA, IL)
Claims:
1. A folding weapon mount for bearing at least one weapon, wherein said mount is installed on the deck of a carrier vehicle such that in one configuration the profile of the vehicle and mount and mounted weapon is low with respect to the profile obtained in an upright configuration of said mount, said mount comprising: parallel front and a rear lower axes; an upper axis serving as a weapon bearing cross-bar; a weapon support connected with said upper axis, at least one threaded shaft for changing the distance between said lower axes, and legs connected to said lower axes for sustaining said weapon bearing cross-bar.

2. A folding weapon mount as in claim 1 and wherein said at least one threaded shaft is connected to a mechanical actuator.

3. A folding weapon mount as in claim 2 and wherein said actuator is an electric motor.

4. A method for changing the distance of at least one weapon from the deck of the carrier vehicle vertically, wherein a folding weapon mount supports said at least one weapon, and wherein a weapon bearing cross-bar of said mount is lowered and raised by the rotation of at least one threaded shaft.

5. A folding weapon mount for bearing at least one weapon on a carrier vehicle, wherein a firing control system thereof collects information related to at least one of the group containing distance from target, weapon inclination, horizontal weapon angle and folding state of said folding mount, and wherein said firing control system calculates angular parameters which are fed to a set of actuators to regulate the configuration of the folding weapon mount and the weapon.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is in the field of mounts for weapons. More specifically the invention relates to vehicle mounting of guns, light cannons and missiles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Mounting of weapons on vehicles is implemented in cases in which the vehicle is to take part in combat or defensive activity. Typical combat vehicles are personnel carriers and armoured personnel carriers. In the art there are several types of weapons mounted on combat vehicles, such weapons are rocket launchers machine guns of various types, light cannons, grenade launchers etc. Crew carriers such as armoured crew carriers are often required to be transported to sites of action. Actual transport may be effected by boarding the vehicle on a carrier boat or a pane. In such case it may be beneficial to lower the profile of the vehicle and external mount. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,056,409 a turret for mounting weapons an a carrier vehicle deck is disclosed, in which the mount is easily convertible from a prostrate to upright position, in which the weapon mounted is easily controlled by crewmen.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a schematic side view of an armoured carrier on which a mounted gun is installed in accordance with the present invention, configured in a prostrate position;

FIG. 1B is a schematic side view of an armoured carrier on which a mounted gun is installed in accordance with the present invention, configured in an upright position;

FIG. 1C is a schematic side view of an armoured carrier on which a mounted gun is installed in accordance with the present invention, configured in an upright position, with gun pointing upwards;

FIG. 2A is a schematic isometric view of gun mounted in a mount of the invention;

FIG. 2B is a schematic isometric view of gun as in FIG. 2A, with legs separated by the action of threaded shaft.

FIG. 3 is a schematic isometric view of a gun mounted in a receptacle integrated in the upper axis of the mount in a prostrate configuration;

FIG. 4 is a schematic isometric view of a gun mounted in a mount of the invention with two guide bars and two threaded shafts;

FIG. 5 is a schematic isometric view of a gun mounted in a mount of the invention demonstrating the rotation mechanisms of aim control.

FIG. 6 is a schematic description of the sources of geometric variability defining the position of the weapon in a mount of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a weapon such as a machine gun, a missile launcher, a light cannon, a medium cannon or a combination thereof, is installed in a configurable mount. As described schematically in FIGS. 1A-C to which reference is now made, the folding weapon mount of the invention is capable of changing configuration. In FIG. 1A, the folding weapon mount (FWM) 20, supported by turret 22 forms a part of the payload of armoured vehicle 24. It is set to a full prostrate configuration, in which gun 26 is at its lowest available position. In FIG. 1B mount has been contracted in order to raise the gun 26 well above the surface of the armoured vehicle's deck on which it is installed. In FIG. 1C, a particular aspect of the invention is demonstrated schematically. According to this aspect, the gun 26 is tilted pointing upwards to a very high elevation angle around a pivot 28. This high elevation angle, allows for large super-elevation angles or for firing at high angle targets to be achieved.

The FWM of the invention uses a screw thread as the driving mechanism of contracting the legs as is described schematically in FIGS. 2A-2B to which reference is now made. As can be seen in FIG. 2A, gun 40 is supported by a support 41 mounted on the weapon bearing cross bar (WBCB) 42. Leg 44 is set at an angle with leg 46, such that the legs are separated at a distance 48 at the bottom. The distance is kept by virtue of thread shaft 50. Shaft 50 is rotatable by virtue of the coupling to electric motor 52. In FIG. 2B the shaft 50 has rotated such that the distance 48 has increased. Legs 44 and 46 sustaining the WBCB have separated by rotating around pivot 52 being coaxial with WBCB 42. The contraction mechanism is explained further with reference to FIG. 3. Gun 70 is installed in receptacle 72, typically referred to as a cradle. Threaded shaft 74 has a journal at one end inserted in cylindrical bearing 76 whereas at the other end, the threaded shaft 74 is inserted in threaded cylinder 78. The rotation of threaded shaft 74 causes legs 80 and 82 either to spread apart or contract, changing angle a correspondingly. In this prostrate position, the gun and mount installed on an armoured carrier vehicle is more easily loaded in a carrier platform, such as an air carrier or a ferryboat.

In FIG. 4 to which reference is now made, gun 92 is shown, installed in a receptacle 94 on a mount manufactured in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention. Two aligning beams 96 are disposed connecting between the front lower axis 98 and rear lower axis 100. Threaded shafts 102 are inserted as journals in to respective cylindrical bearings 104. An upper axis of the mount (the WBCB) has a pivot extension 106 for coupling to an electric actuator (not shown). The entire construction and mounted gun are installed on a turret 108. In some embodiment of the invention the front lower axis 98 is fixed to the turret or to the deck of the carrying vehicle, for example by a bolt 110. The threaded shafts can be rotated by electric or mechanical actuators or manually, for example, by the use of a wrench. In some embodiments the actuator is connected permanently to the threaded shafts, in such a case, the folding state of the mount can be changed at any time, unless a specific configuration becomes fixed. In some embodiments provisions are made to install more than one weapon on the same mount, for example rocket launchers and a heavy machine gun.

In FIG. 5 to which reference is now made, the vertical angle of rotation provided by the turret is described by double headed arrow 120. Rotating of the weapon around the horizontal axis 122 is carried out preferably by the action of an actuator (not shown) linked to pivot extension 124 of the WBCB 122.

Firing Control and Crew Safety

In a preferred embodiment of the invention the FWM and weapons installed therein are completely controllable from inside the carrying vehicle. The crew may be concealed inside the vehicle and yet completely control the activity of the weapon and FWM by remote control mechanism. Thus, the actuators governing the horizontal angle and vertical angle of the weapon are fully controlled from inside the carrier. In another aspect of the invention, target acquisition and firing control is also provided through an electronic control system.

In FIG. 6 to which reference is now made, a scheme shows the sources of information fed into and integrated by firing control system 128. The configurational and positioning data of the FWM utilized is typically inclination angle 130, horizontal angle 132 and folding state 136. As a consequence, the firing control system is able to calculate at any state the required parameter associated with the acquisition of a target. Another input apparatus advantageously applied to such a mount is a range finder 138, the output of which can be fed automatically to the firing control system. Thus for a specific folding state, the elevation angle required could be different for different folding states. Information related to the state of the FWM can be obtained from sensors attached or associated with the FWM, for example a north finding device can serve as a horizontal angle source, an inclinometer can serve as inclination data source. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a relative position of the FWM with respect to the carrying vehicle is obtained by using angular sensors of the resolver type. The data of such sensors is accurate and reliable. Advantageously, the firing control system is digital, requiring that all position data obtained from the sensors is digitized prior to sending to the firing control system. The firing control system can be programmed to include information regarding safety zones, in which firing of the mounted weapons is prohibited. The firing control system feeds positioning control signals to the set of actuators 140 regulating the configuration of the FWM and the weapon, in order to bring the whole system to a position such that the target is aimed at properly, taking in consideration proper elevation angle and prohibited zones.

Benefits of a Mount Embodying the Invention

As described above, the use of a mount of the invention adds an additional degree of freedom to the firing control system. Thus the elevation angle computed for a specific target relates to not only to the static positioning of the weapon relative to a deck of the carrier vehicle, but also of the instantaneous folding state o the FWM. The benefit is especially noticeable in built up areas in which the buildings and other artifacts aimed at or obstructing the line of sight to a target may be very close to the carrying vehicle, such that the folding state affect the actual capability of sighing a specific target or otherwise have an appreciable effect on the firing angle by changing the distance of the weapon from the deck of the carrier vehicle vertically. In open areas, the FWM may be folded down to reduce the profile of the crew carrier harboring the FWM, thus decreasing the chances of exposure.

The folding mechanism of the instant invention based on a threaded shaft is very robust and can be used to raise or lower light to relatively heavy weapons either manually or mechanically by the use of an actuator. If the actuator as in some embodiment is an electric motor, actuation can be controlled remotely and even during travel or even battle.