New TWS II Thermal Sight Uses AA Batteries

The Thermal Weapon Sight II (TWS II) is a joint US Army and US Marine Corps program to develop and deploy thermal weapon sight systems. The TWS II “family”—from rifle to armored vehicles—-is built round BAE Systems’ MicroIR microbolometer-based sensor architecture. They’re better than ye olde light amplifying sights. So much so that the U.S. Marines have ordered $72 million worth of TWS II thermal sights, after the U.S. Army signed a check to BAE for $68 million to equip M-16/4 assault rifle with thermal sights. Average cost: $10,000 each. Whoa. But they do have an analog video output. And speaking of low tech, reports that the latest versions are “use standard AA batteries. This was something the troops were emphatic about. TWS I used special batteries, which, too often, the users could not get replacements for. But you can always get AAs. Even during combat, troops have found local Iraqi or Afghan shops selling AAs, and were able to keep their electronic gear going as a result.” Yo! Arash! Energize me!

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