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The US armed forces units will have improved situational awareness capabilities in harsh weather conditions. The first third-generation FLIR sensor system batch was delivered to the US Army by Raytheon. The system provides individual troops with four fields of view and the ability to see across long- and mid-range IR bands. This enables users to see through darkness, fog, rain, smoke and snow conditions.

Forward-Looking Infrared, or FLIR, gives operators the ability to perform targeting, reconnaissance and fire support under the cloak of darkness. They can peer through dust storms, see enemies in hiding and capture high-resolution pictures without compromising their positions.

FLIR technology detects heat and creates images, allowing troops to “see”. Electronic sensors made with this technology can be found on weapons or attached to armored vehicles and fighter jets.

The new systems are set to replace earlier FLIR sensors. Raytheon says its third-generation FLIR is future-proofed to be compatible with future US Army interfaces and create a common FLIR platform.

The company says that the new system offers greater clarity than earlier FLIR sensors, and allows personnel to see ‘through’ different weather conditions, as reported by army-technology.com.

Sam Deneke, VP of land warfare systems at Raytheon, described the technology as a ‘breakthrough’. He compared the transition from second- to third-generation FLIR as ‘like moving from a standard tube television to high-definition 8K’, according to shephardmedia.com.

The company website promises that operators equipped with the new system will be able to tell if the person lurking is holding a deadly rocket-propelled grenade or just a shovel. The system will give forces a critical battlefield edge.

The new FLIR sights weigh 50 percent less than today’s fielded models and deliver superior performance.