General Dynamics to install new electro-optic machine gun sights on Abrams main battle tanks

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., 3 Dec. 2006. General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., will provide loader's thermal weapon sights for the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks under terms of a $19.8 million contract awarded Nov. 20.

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., 3 Dec. 2006. General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich., will provide loader's thermal weapon sights for the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks under terms of a $19.8 million contract awarded Nov. 20.

The contract, from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, Mich., is a delivery order as part of a firm-fixed-price contract. The contract number is W56HZV-06-G-0006.

The loader's thermal weapon sight on the Abrams is for the pintle-mounted M240 7.62 mm machine gun mounted outside the tank on the left side near loader's turret access hatch.

The thermal weapon sight for the M240 machine gun is the AA battery-powered AN/PAS-13 second-generation forward-looking infrared (FLIR) weapon sight that the Army procures as part of the Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS) II program.

The TWS II program procures light, medium, and heavy infrared sighting systems for a variety of combat weapons. The M240 machine gun uses the medium version of the AN/PAS-13 thermal weapon sight.

Under the TWS II program, the Army buys electro-optic FLIR weapon sights from two optoelectronic defense companies -- the BAE Systems IR Imaging Systems (IRIS) segment in Lexington, Mass., and the DRS Technologies Optronics division in Palm Bay, Fla. The BAE thermal weapon sight is designed the AN/PAS-13C, and the DRS model is the AN/PAS-13D.

The General Dynamics work to install the loader's thermal weapon sights on the Abrams tanks be in Sterling Heights, Mich., and will be finished by 30 May 2008.

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