Thales UK has been awarded a £30m contract by the Ministry of Defence to supply the latest version of its joint-target acquisition system (J-TAS).

The J-TAS, which is the size of a large pair of binoculars, includes daylight and thermal vision, eye-safe laser range finding, embedded military GPS and azimuth angular referencing. The device aims to provide troops with a night vision target locator that is lightweight and compact.

According to Thales the design includes intuitive control features that simplify and speed up targeting, while the device also takes advantage of low power optimisation and un-cooled thermal imaging to reduce whole life costs.

‘Throughout the evolution of J-TAS we paid close attention to the military utility of the product,’ said Alex Dorrian chief executive officer of Thales UK. ‘Our troops in the field consistently ask for an ultra-lightweight, high-performance package: J-TAS delivers this.’

The contract, for more than 700 J-TAS systems, follows an international competition and field trials. The equipment will be built at the companys Glasgow facility and is expected to enter service in 2009.