M1200 Armored Knight
The M1200 Armored Knight provides precision strike capability by locating and designating targets for both ground- and air-delivered laser-guided ordnance and conventional munitions. It replaces the M707 Knight High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) base and M981 Fire Support Team (FIST) vehicles used by combat observation lasing teams (COLTs) in both Heavy Brigade Combat Teams and Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. It operates as an integral part of the brigade reconnaissance element, providing COLT and fire support mission planning and execution.
The Armored Knight is a M1117 Armored Security Vehicle chassis/hull with add-on armor fragmentation kits installed, providing enhanced survivability and maneuverability over the unarmored M707. The system includes a full 360-degree armored cupola and integrated Knight mission equipment package.
The mission equipment package includes: Fire Support Sensor System (FS3) mounted sensor, Targeting Station Control Panel, Mission Processor Unit, Inertial Navigation Unit, Defense Advanced Global Positioning System Receiver (DAGR), Power Distribution Unit, Rugged Hand- Held Computer Unit (RHC) Forward Observer Software (FOS). The vehicle's systems are common with the M7 Bradley Fire Support Team (B-FIST), the M707 Knight, and the M1131 Stryker Fire Support Vehicle (FSV). The common components are: FS3 mounted sensor; targeting station control panel; mission processor unit; inertial navigation unit; Defense Advanced Global Positioning System Receiver (DAGR); power distribution unit; and stand-alone computer unit.
On the Army's M1117 Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) chassis, the U.S. Army is fielding the M1200 Armored Knight to provide improved survivability over the current M707 Knight (Humvee-based Knight). Used by field artillery combat observation lasing teams (COLTs) in both Heavy and Infantry brigade combat teams, the Armored Knight will combine the proven ASV with the M707 Knight Mission Equipment Package (MEP).
In September 2012 Members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) trained at the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES) at Fort McCoy to learn to operate new up-armored forward observer vehicles. The M1200 Armored Knight vehicle is an upgrade from the equipment formerly used both from a tactical and operational standpoint. The vehicle is used to support firing missions, which often are performed by IBCT or BCT units.
The new equipment features specifically designed armor and an improved communications system, Langley said. The communication system is upgraded from a voice network, which can be limited by terrain and other environmental factors, such as noise, to a digital signal, which is more accurate. The new system gets them there safer and offers them better communications so they can accomplish their missions without undue risk. The new system also has more advanced equipment to help them identify targets and better relay the information to other vehicles and personnel involved in a mission.
Wheeled vehicle mechanics using the new vehicles received seven days of training, Langley said. Communication and computer specialists received three days, and operators received 10 days of training. Each of the trainees received materials so they will be able to serve as trainers and share the information when they return to their units.
The new equipment is a big improvement from the current equipment used by the unit. In the past, unit fire missions were communicated via voice transmissions, which were subject to many external factors, including enemy actions, that could cause misunderstandings or misinterpretations. The communications could take up to 15 minutes, or longer, by voice transmissions. The new equipment can do it much quicker and much more accurately.
The digital transmissions can be sent directly to the fire direction center, and the mission can be calculated and sent to the gun batteries, he said. The written formats used are much easier to interpret than the voice communications. The new equipment is an upgrade in finding and designating target locations. It will allow digital communication with personnel and or other equipment/vehicles in the operation. Itís much more efficient than the equipment itís replacing.
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