Raytheon 3rd GEN FLIR Sensor System
Raytheon 3rd GEN FLIR Sensor System

Raytheon 3rd GEN FLIR Sensor System

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Raytheon Company has developed, manufactured and delivered the first-ever 3rd GEN FLIRâ„¢ sensor system under a U.S. Army contract awarded in 2016. This latest Forward-Looking Infrared, or FLIR, system gives soldiers four fields of view and the ability to see across long- and mid-wave IR bands simultaneously with a stabilized line of sight. Forward-looking Infrared is an advanced targeting system that uses heat, not light, to see through darkness, smoke, rain, snow or fog to perform targeting, reconnaissance and fire support. Second generation systems allow soldiers to see the battlefield with just two fields of view and far less clarity.

“Making the leap from 2nd to 3rd Generation FLIR is like moving from a standard tube television to high-definition 8K,” said Sam Deneke, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president. “This breakthrough technology enables U.S. and allied troops to own the night with more detail and precision than ever before.”

An MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system, equipped with 3rd GEN FLIR sensors, prepares to conduct a mission from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Key Benefits of 3rd GEN FLIR Technology
Determining intent – 3rd GEN FLIR promises to bring a new kind of situational awareness to users. In low-visibility conditions, operators will be able to tell if the person lurking is holding a deadly rocket-propelled grenade or just a shovel.
Protecting troops – 3rd GEN FLIR provides high-definition resolution and magnification with increased precision from much greater distances.
Creating overmatch – 3rd GEN FLIR will reduce down time and give forces a critical battlefield edge.
Innovative, cost-effective approach – 3rd GEN FLIR enables an upgrade of existing thermal sights that is cost effective and delivers twice the performance.
Reducing the weight troops carry – 3rd GEN FLIR sights weigh 50 percent less than today’s fielded models and deliver superior performance.

A soldier views the 3rd GEN FLIR system’s capabilities. The system enables greater speed, precision and range in the targeting process. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Existing Army platforms have second generation sighting systems designed for each vehicle. Raytheon’s new 3rd GEN FLIR systems will support all next-generation interfaces, offering a common thermal sighting system across all vehicle types. Forward-Looking Infrared, or FLIR, gives operators the ability to perform targeting, reconnaissance and fire support under the cloak of darkness, enabling them to “own the night.” They can peer through dust storms, see enemies in hiding and capture high-resolution pictures without compromising their positions. FLIR technology detects heat and creates images, allowing troops to “see” through darkness, smoke, rain, snow and fog. The first two generations of FLIR technology have served forces for more than 50 years and now Raytheon is introducing 3rd generation FLIR technology to the battlefield.

A U.S. Army soldier watches over tanks in his unit with a 3rd GEN FLIRâ„¢-equipped Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System. (Photo: U.S. Army)