The US Army has awarded a new contract to Leonardo DRS to deliver third-generation forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensors for the service’s next-generation sighting systems.

The estimated value of this cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price award is approximately $39.5m. It was awarded to Leonardo in August this year.

As part of this contract, the company will start low-rate initial production of the FLIR Dewar Cooler Bench (DCB) long-range sensor.

Work related to the production of the FLIR sensors will be carried out by the company at its Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems facility in Melbourne, Florida, US.

The new sensors are being procured to replace the US Army’s existing second-generation sensors, called Horizontal Technology Integration (Hti).

The HTI sensors are deployed with several high-value platforms across the US Army fleet such as the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle and Abrams Main Battle Tanks.

Leonardo DRS Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems business senior vice-president and general manager Jerry Hathaway said: “We are proud to be the only company chosen to provide this next-generation technology that will help ensure our war fighters are using the most advanced lifesaving technology available today.

“For the last 20 years, we have successfully provided our customer with the HTI, the previous generation of this sensor, and this award positions DRS for multiple decades of sustained production while setting the stage to extend its position as the US Army’s premier supplier of ground combat vehicle sensors and sights.”

The DCB sensor will support the conversion of infrared radiation into video images and provide next-generation FLIR sights.

It will offer several range and resolution enhancements to further improve the situational awareness, especially under contested battlefield environments or rough weather conditions.