BAE Systems will provide second-generation thermal weapon sights to the US Army under a $137m contract.

The second-generation thermal sights are lighter, quieter and use less power than the first-generation sights to reduce soldier load and battery requirements.

The sights are used on rifles, machine guns and mounted weapon systems to provide day and night surveillance and target acquisition to engage targets at longer ranges.

Director of thermal weapon sight programmes for BAE Systems Bruce Zukauskas said that this award “continues to provide an urgently needed capability to our men and women serving in harm’s way”.

The order is the most recent under a five-year indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity contract administered by the army’s Research and Development Command Acquisition Centre. This award increases the value of the current contract to more than $563m.

To date, BAE Systems has delivered more than 42,000 sights to meet army fielding requirements to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.