|I'd like to see the Joint Chiefs look into a standardized, modular remote weapons station that can be deployed on everything from Hummers and MRAPS to ships and eventually to unmanned remote control combat vehicles.
A common design including mount with power and information cabling interface would allow for mission-customization and rapid repair/replacement if damaged.
Specifications would allow for a .50 cal or Mk19 40mm on the large side, to a 25mm grenade launcher with 5.56, 6.8 or 7.62mm machine gun. Other options could include a Carl Gustav, a AA-12 automatic shotgun, etc.
Non-lethal weapons could also be deployed: tear gas grenades and beanbag or rubber bullets, etc. Laser and IR designators could be integral or an external mount option.
The station would include the sensors, targeting and fire control. Configure the station with the weapons, mount it on the vehicle. The RWS would be controlled by a standardized console mounted within the vehicle.
Multiple stations could be mounted on a vehicle, and each station could be controlled by any of the consoles within the vehicle, or remotely!
To this last point a RWS mounted on a M-1 in an urban environment, for example, could be controlled by an operator in a nearby IFV, bunker or observation post. It can be scanning the upper levels and rooftops, 360 degrees while the crew of 4 does their jobs.
Ship-based stations would provide monitoring and protection against small craft attack with low-light and IR capabilities.
Now for the future: A station mounted to a ATV-sized unmanned, armored tracked vehicle would be great for urban assault, walking point, etc. And if the station gets shot-up, it is an hour to swap it out.
Think of it as R2D2's skinnier but more deadly cousin.