The US Army has awarded BAE Systems a seven-year contract up to $383 million for developing and providing the new Family of Weapon Sights – Crew Served (FWS-CS). This is a weapon-mounted long-wave infrared sensor intended to deliver imagery, including a reticle bore-sighted to the host weapon, in all battlefield conditions (day, night, or obscured). FWS-CS will integrate with the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, MK19 grenade machine gun, and M240 medium machine gun.

It is critical for soldiers to be able to quickly locate and identify targets, especially during nighttime operations or when visibility is poor because of heavy smoke or bad weather.

BAE Systems, in partnership with the U.S Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, has integrated the U.S. Army’s Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Crew Served (ENVG III/FWS-CS) program.

BAE Systems has developed a wireless video interface between the weapon sight and goggle so imagery from the weapon sight will be transmitted to the goggle and viewed via the goggle display in real time. This RTA capability eliminates the need for soldiers to rely on aiming lasers, so they are able to remain covert.

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. Enhanced Target Engagement will provide a significant advantage for Soldiers. This advanced technology enables Soldiers to acquire and engage targets much more rapidly while providing increased accuracy resulting in first-burst impacts on target. This capability ensures Soldiers are equipped with the best sensors and targeting devices to dominate the battlefield through lethality and situational awareness in all operational environments.

During the user tests, Soldiers from Fort Benning’s 3rd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, successfully fired all current vendor prototypes on all three weapon systems. They acquired and engaged thermal targets at various ranges—400 to 2,200 meters—from static and dynamic positions.

Photo courtesy of US Army.