The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a five-year contract worth up to $434 million for the company’s integrated night vision and thermal targeting solution, which improves the speed and accuracy of targeting by dismounted soldiers. The new offering helps troops to rapidly and covertly acquire targets in all weather and lighting conditions.
“Supplying the U.S. Army with this new rapid target acquisition technology builds on our heritage as a long-time provider of thermal weapon sights and precision targeting solutions,” said Terry Crimmins, vice president and general manager of Survivability and Targeting Solutions at BAE Systems. “The ability to conduct surveillance in any light or weather condition increases mission safety and effectiveness.”
Currently, U.S. troops use two different devices — night vision goggles for situational awareness and a weapon-mounted thermal sight for targeting. These existing tools require a soldier to identify and acquire the target through the goggle system and then raise the weapon sight into his field of view to engage. On today’s battlefield, this slower approach, which is often further hampered by heavy smoke or bad weather, compromises soldiers’ safety and can reduce mission effectiveness. By integrating night vision and thermal targeting capabilities into one sight displayed on the soldiers’ goggles, BAE Systems’ new solution allows troops to more easily acquire targets and engage faster.
With an initial award of $35 million, the U.S. Army selected the BAE Systems team to meet its Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) program goals of providing a smaller, lighter, tightly integrated, and cost-effective night vision and targeting solution. The fully integrated ENVG III/FWS-I solution is being developed and manufactured at the company’s recently completed 47,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Hudson, New Hampshire.
Key Operational Advantages
- Weapon sight imagery is viewed by the soldier in his goggle which shortens the engagement timeline.
- Wireless interface between the weapon sight and goggle maximizes the soldier's maneuverability.
- Advanced high resolution thermal imagers extend the goggle and weapon sight target acquisition ranges.
- Light weight and small size reduces soldier fatigue.
- Low power reduces battery usage and operating costs.
BAE Systems has more than a decade of proven experience developing micro bolometer technology used in thermal imaging systems and has manufactured more than 200,000 IR thermal products for a variety of defense and commercial applications. Our team will leverage this expertise to develop the integrated ENVG III/FWS-I solution.