The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a seven-year contract worth up to $384 million to provide specialized weapon sights that improve soldiers’ ability to engage targets at extended ranges.
BAE Systems’ solution for the U.S. Army’s Family of Weapon Sights-Crew Served (FWS-CS) program provides machine gunners with extended engagement range capabilities. FWS-CS will operate as the primary sight. It includes a wireless helmet-mounted display (HMD), which provides the soldier with an adjusted reticle based on laser range finder information.
Designed for integration with the M2 0.50-caliber rifle, MK19 grenade launcher, and M240 machine gun, the system is equipped with a laser range finder that provides automatic adjusted crosshairs directly in the shooter’s helmet-mounted display. With this precision at hand, soldiers no longer need to manually calculate weapon offsets, allowing them to rapidly and accurately acquire targets at distances greater than the weapon’s maximum effective range.
FWS-CS provides improved image quality by combining a high-resolution 12-micron thermal and high-definition day camera in the weapon sight. Using both cameras, the system is able to transmit high-resolution images directly from the weapon sight to the helmet-mounted display — day or night and in any weather condition.
FWS-CS is a compact, lightweight, and low power solution that represents the latest in a long line of advanced thermal and infrared solutions that BAE Systems has provided the dismounted soldier over the course of the last decade. In that span, the company has manufactured and delivered more than 200,000 thermal products to a range of military and commercial customers around the world.
The BAE Systems-developed FWS-CS long-range infrared sight is designed for the 0.50 caliber M2, 7.62 mm M240 machine gun, and the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher. With an initial development order of $10.5 million, work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Hudson, N.H. and Austin, Texas.