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U.S. Army Chooses BAE SYSTEMS For Next-Generation Thermal Weapon Sights

31 Mar 2004

BAE Systems has been awarded a five-year multiyear contract by the U.S. Armys Communication and Electronics Command (CECOM) to supply a family of next-generation thermal weapon sights for its soldiers. The base contract is worth $111 million, and could be valued at more than $250 million if all options are exercised.

The Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS) will be developed in partnership with Team Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The TWS program will provide the U.S. Army Infantry with the ability to detect and engage targets day or night, in all weather and battlefield obscurant conditions. The TWS enables individual and crew-served weapon gunners to see deep into the battlefield; increasing their surveillance and target acquisition range.

The TWS will be produced at BAE Systems facility in Lexington, Mass. BAE Systems leads the world in the manufacture of these advanced microbolometer engines/cameras, having delivered more than 20,000 units since 1999, said Steve Jamison, BAE Systems vice president and general manager at Lexington. BAE Systems is proud to partner with Team Soldier to exploit this new disruptive infrared technology for the benefit of the warfighter.

BAE Systems TWS family of sights to be produced under this contract will complement current and future infantry armament -- from light, to medium and heavy weapons. The light-weapon thermal sight weighs less than two pounds and mounts primarily to M4 carbines and M16 rifles. The medium- and heavy-weapon thermal sights weigh less than three and four pounds respectively. The latter provide airborne, air assault, Ranger, and mechanised infantry forces with long-range target detection to engage their crew-served armaments.

All three TWS variants use state-of-the-art MicroIR microbolometer sensor-engine technology, produced in volume by BAE Systems. Similar MicroIR technology is also being used in cameras serving Homeland Security customers in public safety, industrial and security sectors.

This contract will fund the qualification of all three TWS design variants and the manufacture of up to 28,000 units with options. Chris Hornberger, BAE Systems director for uncooled military programs, said, Were very pleased to be selected by Project Manager Soldier Equipment for this important program. Our team has worked tirelessly for five years to reach this point. They are ready for the challenge ahead and eager to get this capability into the hands of the soldier.

The Lexington facility is part of BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) business unit, headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire


BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years. It is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defence systems.

BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company employs more than 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately 12 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.

BAE Systems North America is a high-technology U.S. company employing more than 25,000 people who live and work in some 30 states, the District of Columbia, and the United Kingdom. The company is dedicated to solving its customers needs with highly innovative and leading edge solutions across the defence electronics, systems, information technology, and services arenas.

BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems employs 5,700 people at ten major facilities in eight states. The business unit is a major producer of aircraft self-protection systems and tactical surveillance and intelligence systems for all branches of the armed forces. Other major business areas include microwave, mission and space electronics; infrared imaging; and automated mission planning systems.

BAE Systems, innovating for a safer world.

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