Stabilization Systems

Stabilization Systems Overview

Weapon Stabilization Systems

A gun stabilizer is a device intended to assist with aiming by counteracting the motion of the platform upon which the gun is mounted. For example, in tanks moving across uneven terrain its weapon(s) must still remain accurately on target. This means that vehicle movements as well as recoil from the shot itself must be constantly compensated for.

The mechanism usually includes a mechanical or optical gyro and servo mechanisms. There are many forms of gun stabilization, including the single-plane stabilizer – a simple stabilizer system that only stabilizes on a vertical axis, the shoulder-stop stabilizer, and the two-plane stabilizer which stabilizes on the horizontal and vertical axes.

Some weapons systems or platforms have separate stabilizing systems for different areas of the gun. For example, on tanks where one servo stabilizes the turret and another is used to elevate the gun. Aiming is then done by control input to the mechanism rather than directly on the gun. The control mechanism has other functions too, such as applying super-elevation and aiming ahead of the target according to the target’s speed – making it a fire-control system – this kind of system means some guns are entirely automatic.

The US army is currently testing a stabilizing system called the Aim Control Enhancer (ACE), for more accurate aim for next-generation rifles. The ACE can be attached to the rifle and supports the soldier’s support hand, isolating movements in a similar way to a Steadicam system in the film industry.

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