Marine Corps tanks get night vision upgrade

WALTHAM, Mass., 26 Jan. 2006. Raytheon Company will improve the U.S. Marine Corps' ability to fight 24/7 in all weather conditions by equipping nearly 900 vehicles with detection and targeting systems based on advanced infrared technology.

WALTHAM, Mass., 26 Jan. 2006. Raytheon Company will improve the U.S. Marine Corps' ability to fight 24/7 in all weather conditions by equipping nearly 900 vehicles with detection and targeting systems based on advanced infrared technology.

The company recently received $96 million to produce, install and support 416 Improved Thermal Sight Systems (ITSS) for the Corps' Light Armored Vehicles (LAV 25s) and $25 million in Firepower Enhancement Program (FEP) funds to outfit another 150 of their 403 M1A1 tanks with equivalent night vision systems.

ITSS and FEP are new, compact sighting systems that boost warfighters' ability to see the battlefield in the day, at night and in adverse conditions such as sand storms, rain, smoke and dust. LAV and tank gunners use the systems to target and shoot enemy platforms at safe distances. Both systems also support long-range reconnaissance missions, including precise location of distant targets.

Each ITSS contains a high-performance 2nd generation forward looking infrared imaging system, a laser rangefinder, an embedded fire control computer and a "far target" location system. These elements form an integrated mission solution that Marines use to execute fire control missions.

"ITSS and FEP are powerful mission solutions," said Glynn Raymer, vice president of Raytheon Combat Systems. "Using ITSS and FEP, Marines and other troops will have no doubt about their ability to see the battlefield, 24/7."

Raytheon anticipates that ITSS and FEP contract options, in tandem with sales of ITSS to allied forces, could result in additional new orders valued at $200 million during the next few years.

Raytheon Company, with 2004 sales of $20.2 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide. For more information, see www.raytheon.com.

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