EOS Defense Systems USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canberra-based Electro Optic Systems (EOS), has celebrated the unveiling of the very first complete R400 remote weapon station (RWS) produced at its Huntsville, Alabama, high-tech facility.
EOS secured the 80,000-square-foot facility in Huntsville in 2018 for the US expansion of its space, missile defence, and weapon system businesses. Starting initially with just six employees, the company has grown to 60 staff and the facility has scale to grow to at least 250 employees.
The plant capacity will initially be 50 units/month with substantial scope for expansion once the supply chain is fully established.
The official reveal and celebrations included VIP speakers, the gala kicked off with a message of unity from Washington-based, Australian ambassador to the US Arthur Sinodinos, who said, "We look to the US for so much innovation and yet when we look at our own country there is also much innovation. EOS is an example of a company that was spun out to develop Australian innovation and look how its gone, how successful its been. It’s a great role model to other Australian companies."
Well wishes continued from US dignitaries and esteemed guests, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey; Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield; Mayor Tommy Battle; Dale Strong, chairman Madison County Commission; and Lieutenant General (Ret'd) Kevin Byrnes, Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce. Each offering their staunch support since the facility’s inauguration in 2018.
Joining the celebrations from Australia, founder and group CEO for Electro Optic Systems, Dr Ben Greene, said, "The city of Huntsville was chosen to be the home of EOS Defense Systems USA because it is a wonderful community environment that services a dynamic centre of excellence for all of the US Defence and Space agencies that are key customers of the EOS Group."
Governor Ivey welcomed the achievements by EOS Defense Systems USA and its ongoing commitment to the Alabama community and economy, saying, "The unveiling of EOS Defense Systems’ R400 Remote Weapons System is symbolic of the commitment they made in calling Alabama their home just two years ago, and I am eager to see what the future holds for this world-class contracting firm in our great state."
Dr Greene added, "The state, region and city are fully committed to supporting high technology business and our relationship with each of these civic elements has been excellent right from the start."
Phil Coker, president for EOS Defense Systems USA, added, "This is an important day for this organisation, our corporation and for the region. We are confident this will be the first of many successes that will continue our growth in the north Alabama area and this important market."
EOS has continued to evolve and develop the R400 family with a focus on improving the systems engagement precision, power management, stabilisation and sensor performance. This effort has now produced the R400S-Mk2 Direct drive Heavy Duty version (R400Mk2 D-HD) series of medium remote weapon stations, which are now in service with five international customers.
The R400S-Mk2-D-HD is available in a number of forms including a marinised version, a dual weapon version supporting a lightweight 30mm cannon with coaxial machine gun and ATGM and a fourth axis of motion option on the sensor unit to allow for optimised engagement performance against high-speed transients such as small UAVs.
The R400 Mk2s being acquired by the ADF have been integrated with common architectures like the Australian Generic Vehicle Architecture, the Thales ICS and US Army robotic vehicle control systems. It can also be cued by a battlefield management system, such as the Australian BMSC2, and associated cuing sensors such as radars for counter-UAS missions or shot detection systems.