Nobles Worldwide is incrementally and deliberately broadening its weapons portfolio. In one instance, the company’s flexible ammunition chutes have gained prominence, being fielded for fixed wing (“F”-series) and rotary aircraft, and sea- and land based systems. Nobles’ product menu reached an inflexion point in the mid-2000s when the US Special Forces community approached the company to provide an enhanced, crew served weapons mount purposely built for the M230LF cannon, the linked fed version of the AH-64 APACHE cannon.
The application was to be emplaced in the rear of commercial, light-weight pick-up trucks, mirroring “technicals” and similar weapons platforms in service in a number of services around the world. “We started to work with them and ATK, to solve the challenge: how do we manage the weight of a cannon that heavy to make it so we can lock it on target and easily manoeuver?” Will Wennberg, Vice President of Operations and Sales at Nobles, recalled.
Nobles eventually developed a solution with its patented Gun Mount Braking System (GMBS) specifically for the VIPER Gun System, bringing total control of the weapon to the gunner’s finger trips. Wennberg continued, “This works on azimuth and elevation with just disc brakes, similar to what a car uses. We’re able to manage the weight, using a ‘release’ through hydraulic fluid, permitting you to maneuver the mount, and allowing you to take your hands off the mount as the mount locks in on target.