Remote Controlled Firearms Are Not Just Science Fiction

Precision Remotes, Inc (PRI) is a Richmond, California based corporation that was founded in 1997 and specializes in remote weapon systems. PRI invented the ultra-light Remote Operated Weapons Station (ROWS) that have been used by several branches of the US Department of Defense (DOD), the US Department of Energy (DOE), international governments and have been proven in multiple combat theaters.

The company’s latest release is a solar-powered, remote-controlled kit for both ambush and counter-sniper applications known as the TRAP (Telepresent Rapid Aiming Platform) T192.  The T192 weighs 46 pounds and all components including the firearm can be completely stored in a backpack-sized unit. The T192 can be set up and controlled from as far away as 300 meters. Troops can remain in a position of relative safety while engaging the enemy or conducting surveillance. The T192 is designed to work with sniper rifles such as the Barret M82 50 caliber rifle (Military designation: M107), and squad automatic weapons such as the M240 and M249. The software integrates with sniper detection systems as well.

To some these systems sound like props found in science fiction and action movies or what Walter White used in the series finale of Breaking Bad. However, ROWS or CROWS (Common Remote Operating Weapons Station) serve vital purposes in the realms of EOD (Explosive Ordinance disposal), Entry Point Control, protecting Forward Operating Bases and Outposts and particularly in a potential NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) environment. ROWS are put to use in extreme situations where deploying troops would expose them to an unacceptable level of risk.

The greatest advantage of this system is the light weight of the entire unit as it can be moved by one man and transported by parachute if necessary. The solar powered version should solve the issues of supplying power to the remote system. On the negative side, most ROWS use thermal and night vision devices to allow operation at any time of day or in any weather conditions. This may prove problematic with the solar version depending on the capabilities of the batteries with regard to energy storage during non-daylight hours.

Before you call your favorite distributor, SOT (Special Occupation Taxpayer), FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) or PRI, these systems are not available for sale to the general public. Bob Whiteaker of PRI informed us that US sales are strictly relegated to DOD and DOE entities, only. Certain police departments had expressed interest in the past, but the limited and rare use of these systems makes them impractical from the cost perspective.

International sales to foreign governments are tightly controlled through the State Department, which only issues export permits to trusted and vetted US allies through their home country’s ministry of defense.