Contract puts enemy in sight

BAE Systems announced this week that is has received two US Army orders totalling $80m for the production of thermal weapon sights.


BAE Systems has received two US Army orders totalling $80m for the production of thermal weapon sights. The orders expedite production to meet army fielding requirements and exercise remaining options under a five-year contract that calls for 29,000 of the day/night, all-weather sights.



The army also awarded BAE Systems funding for advanced technology development that will continue to reduce the size, weight, and cost of future weapon sights.



The company received a $35m contract modification to its Thermal Weapon Sight II (TWS II) contract to accelerate deliveries to meet army requirements driven by ongoing activities around the world.



Separately, it received a $45m order, also under the TWS II effort, to exercise all remaining base and option quantities on the five-year contract, originally awarded in March 2004.



The two awards bring the total value of the TWS II contract to $285m. To date, the company has delivered more than 4,500 of the 29,000 weapon sights. The contract is managed by the army’s Program Executive Office-Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and administered by the Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.



The TWS II program produces sights for applications ranging from rifles to heavy, tripod-mounted weapons. The thermal technology enables individual and crew-served weapon gunners to see deep into the battlefield, increasing their surveillance and target acquisition range.



Separately, the army selected BAE Systems to continue development of advanced microbolometer technology designed to reduce the size, weight, and cost of future weapon sights. Under an army contract awarded early in 2006, the company has partnered with the army to demonstrate 17-micron, 640×480 pixel focal plane arrays in medium and heavy thermal weapon sights. The arrays are said to have an active area about one-third the size of existing arrays.