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US Army awards USD117.5 million contract for next-gen FLIR sensor

The US Army approved Raytheon's Third-Generation Forward-Looking Infrared (3GEN FLIR) for low-rate initial production in July 2023. (Raytheon Technologies)

The US Army programme for third-generation FLIR sensors entered into low-rate initial production (LRIP), the service announced on 6 July.

The kit will be integrated first on the Abrams main battle tanks, but the service's next focus could be on the XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle (formerly Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicles [OMFVs]), a Raytheon executive told Janes on 6 July. The 3GEN B-Kit will be “horizontally integrated” into combat vehicle sights with work that is expected to end in 2027, Lareina Adams, project manager for terrestrial sensors at the Program Executive Office of Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEWS,) said in the 6 July army statement.

LRIP kick-starts the kit's production for potentially numerous different vehicle platforms going forward simultaneously, said Torrey Cady, Raytheon's vice-president for electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) solutions. The kits will help the army see better at night and in rough weather conditions, according to the company.

The first LRIP contract is worth USD117.5 million, the service announced on 6 July.

The army is also working to qualify the A-Kit, which includes an optics package, for the Abrams SepV4 programme, Cady told Janes on 6 July.

The B-Kit includes high-definition, dual-band (mid-wave infrared/long-wave infrared) focal plane array (FPA), Dewar Cooler Bench (DCB), optics, and electronics required to convert thermal radiation into video image, according to the army. It shares these components with the previous generation of sensors.

“No other sensor to date can provide this calibre of imagery” that will develop the service's machine learning to eventually produce “semi-autonomous” sensors, said the army's statement.

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