The US Army Contracting Command has selected Leonardo’s US subsidiary Leonardo DRS to manufacture advanced thermal weapon sights for the Army.   

The five-year, firm-fixed-price contract, worth $579m, requires the company’s Electro-Optical Infrared Systems (EOIS) business to deliver the modernised Family of Weapons Sight – Individual (FWS-I) systems for its US Army customer. 

A stand-alone, clip-on weapon sight, FWS-I leverages DRS’ uncooled thermal imaging technology.

The system can be connected wirelessly to helmet-mounted vision systems such as enhanced night vision goggle binoculars and integrated visual augmentation systems.

The weapon sight arms soldiers with quick target acquisition capabilities, providing them with tactical advantages during the day and night, as well as in foggy conditions.

The FWS-I uses a vanadium oxide micro-electromechanical focal plane array and can operate without visible light.

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Work on the systems will be carried out at Leonardo DRS’ EOIS facility in Melbourne, Florida.

Leonardo DRS EOIS senior vice-president and general manager Jerry Hathaway said: “We are proud to continue to provide this cutting-edge technology that ensures our soldiers will have the most advanced weapon sight systems on the battlefield today, and well into the future.

“We have a long history of supplying the Army with advanced Electro-Optic and Infrared (EOIR) technologies, and this award will help to keep soldiers safe and better ensure their mission is accomplished.”

According to the company, its EOIS business ‘is part of the advanced sensing and computing segment, which has an extensive installed base across the US military’.

Earlier this year, Leonardo DRS and Israel-based RADA Electronic Industries signed a definitive agreement for a merger to become a combined public company.