FLIR has long been at the head of its industry, developing the leading edge of sensor systems used to provide enhanced perception systems to improve situational awareness in the field. They’ve been designing, manufacturing, and marketing systems that provide advanced thermal imaging, security applications, and ground and air-based survelliance in both the commercial and military sectors. This level of expertise and reliability is has recently led to them obtaining an $18 million dollar contract with the US Military to provide the initial production of the Dismounted Reconnaisance Sets, Kits, and Outfit program, or DR SKO.
This program touches on all services within the Department of Defense, providing new technologies that will integrate response systems for chemical, biological, nuclear, explosive, and biological threats, as well as the management systems that will be utilized in their implementation. While the program has been in place since 2008 under Joint Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaisance System Increment II, this most recent contract has served to push the development of these systems into high gear.
The cementing of the DR SKO program will serve as an important part of the FLIR family programs, contracts of this type inevitably lead to further contracts, and with FLIR’s commitment to excellence, it’s nearly inevitable that this is just one more contract in a continuing relationship with the armed forces. The Production of these systems are due to be completed during 2014, and will be handled primarily by the Detection segment facility that is located in Elkridge, Maryland, and includes a complex integrated system. This system will be capable of identifying collected samples, detecting sources of the related threats, and personal safety kits that will make sure that the personnel in charge of these systems can conduct the testing while remaining safe from harm.
The original JNBCRS was designed to serve the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force in hazardous environments where threat detection was of the utmost importance. It was during the development of this system that equipment such as the Chemical and Biological Mass Spectrometer was first introduced to the system, managed by a Dual Wheeled Sampling System, radiological detectors, and the ability to detect possible environmental CBRN hazards. From this initial system came the development of the JNBCRS2 (Increment II), and ultimate the newest DR SKO program under development today. At all stages of this program technologies such as thermal imaging have been a central part of the design, making FLIR a natural choice as a developer.
The decision to have FLIR provide the CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive) threat response system was based in FLIRs long and outstanding history of providing this kind of equipment with an eye towards durability and efficacy. They are far and away the most qualified and reliable providers of highly integrated systems that incorporate a broad suite of sensor technologies, and this experience will be invaluable in the face of developing a system such as this.