Previous Post
Next Post


Press release: [via] The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a $13.5 million order to begin producing the new Family of Weapon Sights-Individual (FWS-I) thermal weapon sight for soldiers. Under the low rate initial production award, the company will deliver more than 100 weapon sight systems as part of a previously announced five-year contract for the Army’s Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) program.

“These advanced weapon sights will allow soldiers to conduct surveillance and acquire targets in any light or weather conditions, increasing mission safety and effectiveness,” said Marc Casseres, director of Imaging and Aiming Solutions at BAE Systems. “This production order means that soldiers are one step closer to receiving this mission-critical technology for use in-theater.”

The BAE Systems-developed FWS-I solution integrates the company’s first-to-market 12-mircon technology, which helps make its offering smaller and lighter while providing superior image quality.

The uncooled infrared thermal weapon sight allows soldiers to clearly view targets at more than 1,000 meters away. The clip-on sight can be mounted on an M4 carbine, M16A4 rifle, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M136 AT4 rifle, or M141 Bunker Defeat. It can also seamlessly connect with the ENVG III for increased survivability and lethality.

When combined with the ENVG III system, BAE Systems’ FWS-I and Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) Module solution can greatly reduce target engagement time. The innovative RTA solution uses a wireless connection to integrate the weapon sight view directly into the soldier’s goggle so targets can be quickly located and engaged from any carry position, without needing to raise the weapon to the eye. This allows soldiers to accurately engage targets while still maintaining full cover.

The new production order comes on the heels of the Army’s declaration that the system is ready for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP). The decision, known as “Milestone C,” was approved following the successful conclusion of a series of rigorous contractor- and government-led field testing events. BAE Systems’ ENVG III, FWS-I, and RTA Module are on display this week at this year’s AUSA Exposition in Washington, D.C.

Additional information can also be found at

About BAE Systems, Inc.:

BAE Systems has more than 40 years of experience with Mk 45 Mods 0-4, including more than 260 deliveries to the U.S. Navy and 10 fleets worldwide. The company’s Louisville facility houses its Naval Guns Center of Excellence for Naval Gun System manufacturing, providing component and spares fabrication, as well as final system assembly and test of new and modernized Mk 45 Naval Gun Systems.

For more information, please visit

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Uncooled thermal has been around for a couple of years. It’ll be working it’s way to the mass-market over the next 6-12 months in the context of firearms anyway.

    For the last year or two, an add-on for your phone, or better yet, now just get it built in. Now shipping for only $599…

    Yes, you could set it up as a sight on the firearm. Yes, some developer will overlay a selection of reticles if they haven’t already. If you want a real scope, I know there’s a few in dev that should have a price-point under $1K.

    • I’ve heard it will likely pop up in higher-end cars projected on the driver’s windscreen as an augmented reality way to see through fog.

      There is some serious mil tech out there we won’t see on guns, like synthetic-aperture radar that weighs under 2 pounds on small-ish drones. Check out the image samples here you can get from something that literally sits in the palm of one’s hand:

      • Kewl. Yeah, I doubt will see that on guns, but I’ll bet it makes it to some cars (the purveyor may be different, but still).

  2. $13.5M / 100 = $135,000 per unit for the first lot. (The article says more than 100, but still.)

    For a sophisticated piece of leading edge hardware that’s not too bad, actually, but one would hope the price per unit will fall.

  3. One of my college buddies, the luckiest guy I know when it comes to finding screaming deals on guns, bought an earlier gen BAE thermal sight secondhand for $1,000. It’s a $10k item. I didn’t believe him ’til I saw photos. The seller was a veteran who was issued the sight. He was told exterior damage and a couple of bad pixels disqualified it from further deployment, so he took it home. My buddy has since mounted it to his .300 Blackout AR for Texas hog slaying purposes and it works just fine. I’ve heard too many stories from vets about just how much stuff the military trashes/lets people keep because of minor damage

    • “I’ve heard too many stories from vets about just how much stuff the military trashes/lets people keep because of minor damage”

      Trashes – no doubt. People just keep? No, just no, it goes to DLA / DRMO who disposes of items IAW applicable regs. especially of a sensitive or high dollar items. Sounds more like the stories you are hearing are thefts.

    • Agree with Outwardbound on that.

      The company probably doesn’t mind (much) since he isn’t likely to pass it along to the Chinese, but he shouldn’t be broadcasting he has it, and having to explain why he has it can put him and his company in hot water.

      Still quite cool, and I’d love to play with it one day…

      • My friend just sent me pics of the sight and I am relieved. The seller definitely lied to him about its origins as an appeal to rarity or some BS. It looks exactly like this, which can be purchased by anyone in America:
        Either way the seller screwed himself by pricing it so low as a “used” item. It makes killing hogs at night easy, so he’s happy. This same friend also bought a “broken” Mateba revolver in .44 Magnum for $2,000 that he fixed in less than two hours. Like I said, he lucks out often when gun shopping.

    • You buddy needs to have his “Hillary Defense” prepared or he will have a SERIOUS case of butthurt when the feds eventually catch up with him. Good be the Chicoms had the R&D info long before the 1st unit went to the field for testing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here