The US Army has awarded a contract worth $454m to aerospace and defence company L3 Technologies for the delivery of modernised intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensor systems.

Under the deal, the company will provide the army with a next-generation WESCAM MX-10D electro-optical / infrared and laser designator (EO/IR/LD) sensor suite.

The advanced systems operate from the US Army’s Tactical Unmanned Air Systems Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), RQ-7Bv2.

L3 ISR Systems president and corporate senior vice-president Jeff Miller said: “The MX-10D is proven and successfully operational on the Shadow.

“This win secures L3’s prime position on a major platform in the UAV space and expands our growth opportunities for international EO/IR users considering surveillance and targeting upgrades.”

The sensor offers an advanced capability that enables the army to collect critical information for use by all members of an air-ground manoeuvre team.

“The MX-10D is proven and successfully operational on the Shadow.”

L3 Technologies chairman, chief executive officer and president Christopher E. Kubasik said: “L3’s WESCAM imaging and targeting turrets deliver the highest-precision situational awareness to our customers to help them overcome emerging regional and global threats.

“We are focused on developing new state-of-the-art multi-domain command, control, communications, computers, cyber-defence and combat systems and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C6ISR) technologies in support of the US Army’s Modernization Strategy.”

Awarded as an indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, the agreement will continue for a period of five years, with a provision to extend for an additional five years.

The company will continue to invest in research and development as the US Army will assess options for its next-generation Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) programme, which will replace the Shadow system, targeted for 2025.

Capable of being integrated onto fixed-wing, rotary-wing, UAV and aerostat aircraft, the WESCAM MX-10D sensor is suitable for low-altitude tactical surveillance and target acquisition and designation missions that require low-weight installation flexibility.