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US Army contracts BAE Systems to supply thermal weapon sights

06 Dec 2016

$384m deal to provide machine gunners with sights that deliver target information to a HUD whatever the lighting conditions.

The US Army has awarded BAE Systems a seven-year contract worth up to $384 million to provide specialized weapon sights that improve soldiers’ ability to accurately engage targets at extended ranges.

The Family of Weapon Sights – Crew Served (FWS-CS) system is designed specifically for machine gunners and operates during daylight, darkness, adverse weather, and obscured visibility conditions. The technology combines high-resolution sensors with a lightweight laser range-finder and wirelessly transmits weapon sight imagery in real time to a helmet-mounted display.

BAE Systems’ launch statement said, “On today’s battlefield, army gunners need to accurately identify targets at greater ranges despite challenging battlefield conditions.

'Surveillance advantages'

"At the same time, they need compact, lightweight, and energy efficient solutions. BAE Systems’ FWS-CS sight is designed to meet these needs and provide significant advantages in surveillance, situational awareness, engagement, lethality, and survivability.”

The FWS-CS system provides an unprecedented level of targeting speed, precision, and field of view based on BAE’s established high-resolution thermal imaging technology, combined with an automatic range-adjusted, targeting reticle that eliminates the need for manual weapon offset calculations.

Designed for integration with the M2 0.50-caliber rifle, MK19 grenade launcher, and M240 machine gun, the FWS-CS system is equipped with a laser range finder that provides automatic adjusted crosshairs directly in the gunner’s helmet-mounted display. With an initial development order of $10.5 million, work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Hudson, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas.

Marc Casseres, director of Imaging and Aiming Solutions at BAE Systems, added, “Supplying the US Army with gunner-specific weapon sights builds on our heritage as a long time provider of weapon sight solutions.”

“Our innovative 12µm sensor technology allows us to provide soldiers with superior clarity and range to dominate the battlefield through increased situational awareness in all operational environments and conditions.”

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