The US Army has awarded a $347m contract to BAE Systems to provide handheld laser target locators to its soldiers.

The laser target locaters will enable the soldiers to identify target locations while on foot, in daylight or at night, and in cloudy conditions.

Under the five-year contract the company will produce, maintain, and provide logistical support for up to 200 laser target locator modules (LTLM) a month in collaboration with Vectronix , a geolocation solutions provider.

The system weighs less than 5.5lb and will enable soldiers to recognise targets above 4.2km away in daylight and up to 900m away in total darkness.

LTLM features a direct-view optic system, a night-vision camera, a laser range finder, a digital compass and a GPS receiver.

Deliveries are scheduled to start later in 2009.