MARCH 17--DRS Technologies (Parsippany, NJ;www.drs.com) has received approximately $15 million in new orders to produce and install thermal-imaging systems in support of the US Marine Corps' M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank Firepower Enhancement Program (FEP). The contracts were awarded to DRS by Raytheon Company's Network Centric Systems (McKinney, TX). For these awards, DRS will build, integrate, test, deliver, and install the FEP variant of Second Generation Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Thermal Imaging Systems currently used in various US Army ground-based weapon systems. The company's DRS Optronics unit (Palm Bay, FL) will accomplish the work for these contracts. Product deliveries are expected to commence in September 2006 and continue through August 2007.
The FEP Second Generation FLIR thermal imaging systems provide imagery to detect threats at significantly greater distances under a full range of harsh battlefield conditions. They provide increased threat overmatch, while accurately performing far-target location, enhancing the tanks' combat effectiveness while significantly reducing fratricide. The FEP systems will include a new Far Target Location sensor that further extends the sighting systems' range and greatly improves situational awareness.