$46.2M Delivery of Thermal Binoculars Under $660M Contract
DID recently covered the USA’s $3.24 billion order for night vision systems, and explained how they work. Some night vision systems aren’t designed to be worn: DRS Technologies in Palm Bay, FL recently received a $46.2 million delivery order under a firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-05-D-1062) to purchase 3,624 high performance Thermal Binocular System (TBS) Tactical Range Thermal Imagers (TRTI).
What’s that, you ask, and who wants them?
The TRTI is a portable binocular, hand-held, battery-operated thermal imager for observation and reconnaissance.
As Special Operations Technology notes in its Aug. 16, 2005 “Ultra Vision” article, the TRTI complements the LRTI long range version (3.5-7.5 km range) used by recon teams or forward observer. The TRTI requirement describes a system of somewhat reduced capability but with reduced weight, designed for an infantry squad leader. The Marines intend to distribute night vision systems widely among their forces.
As Major Pat Cashman, infantry requirements officer at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) at Quantico says:
“In many cases, our forces are operating in a functioning urban environment with all the attendant light sources, and thermals offer greater resistance [than image intensifier devices] against washout or blooming… In the future, our intention is to procure optical systems that perform equally well in night or day and in all battlefield conditions and make the transitions from one to the other transparent to the user.”
The TRTI contract contains options, which if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of the contract to $660 million. Work on this delivery order will be performed in Palm Bay, FL (68%); Dallas, TX (16%); and Irvine, CA (16%), and is expected to be complete in September 2010. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition, by the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA.