Bae systems has received a US$130m extension on its order for thermal weapon sights for the US Army, bringing the total value of its five-year contract to US$313m.

BAE has already delivered 20,000 thermal weapon sights to date.

Deliveries under this contract are due to wrap-up at the end of this year – 15 months ahead of schedule.

Under the new contract, it will deliver 3,000 units a month starting in 2009.

BAE systems director of thermal weapon sight programs Bruce Zukauskas says the thermal weapon sights help improve situational awareness for soldiers out in the field.

“The individual soldier now has a 24/7 day-and-night capability to detect, identify and engage targets at increased ranges under adverse conditions,” Zukauskas says.

The system uses microbolometer thermal imaging technology to see through smog, fog and other obscurants during day and night conditions and can be used on rifles, machine guns and mounted weapon systems.

By Penny Jones