FLIR gets $79 million for robotic payloads

By Ethan Sterenfeld / May 31, 2022 at 4:04 PM

Teledyne FLIR has won a $79 million Army contract to support "enhanced robotic payloads," according to a May 24 Pentagon contract announcement.

FLIR, which Teledyne bought last year, will perform work on the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract through May 21, 2027, according to the announcement. The exact amount and timing of funding will be determined with each order.

The company has supplied the Army in recent years with the Common Robotic System-Heavy, a tracked robot that can disable and dispose of explosive ordnance. With the robot, soldiers can disable explosive devices without putting themselves in danger.

Those systems would receive an extended-range mesh network and greater obstacle avoidance capabilities under a research funding program in the Army’s fiscal year 2022 budget.

The Army planned to award FLIR about $7 million in the first half of this calendar year to integrate the technology onto the CRS-H and another robotic vehicle, according to FY-23 budget documents. A production decision on the robotic upgrades would come at the end of fiscal year 2023, after development and prove-out testing.

“The use of robotic payloads allows the first approach, to potentially explosive hazards, to be made by a robot rather than a Soldier,” according to the budget documents.