BAE Systems is to begin producing thermal weapon sights for soldiers, following a $13.5m order from the US Army.
Under the low rate initial production award, the company will deliver more than 100 family of weapon sights-individual (FWS-I) thermal weapon sight systems.
The order forms a part of a previously announced five-year contract for the army’s enhanced night vision goggle III and family of weapon sight-individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) programme.
BAE Systems Imaging and Aiming Solutions director Marc Casseres said: “These advanced weapon sights will allow soldiers to conduct surveillance and acquire targets in any light or weather conditions, increasing mission safety and effectiveness.
“This production order means that soldiers are one step closer to receiving this mission-critical technology for use in-theatre.”
The FWS-I solution employs the company's 12μm technology, which helps make the offering smaller and lighter while providing superior image quality.
Using the uncooled infrared thermal weapon sight, soldiers will be able to view targets that are more than 1,000m away.
The clip-on sight can be mounted on an M4 carbine, M16A4 rifle, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M136 AT4 rifle, or M141 Bunker Defeat.
It can also be connected with the ENVG III for increased survivability and lethality, the company said.
When used with the ENVG III system, the BAE Systems’ FWS-I and Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) Module solution is said to reduce target engagement time.
The RTA solution integrates the weapon sight view directly into the soldier’s goggles via wireless connection, therefore facilitating target engagement from any position.
The new production order follows the army’s declaration that the system has achieved Milestone C approval.
Image: Two army soldiers display (FWS-I) thermal weapon sights. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.