SMITHS Aerospace, part of the global engineering business Smiths Group, has been selected by Raytheon Company to provide more than 400 North Finding Modules for the United States Marine Corp (USMC) Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-25). The contract is valued at $9 million. Deliveries have commenced from Smiths facility in Michigan.
The North Finding Modules (NFM) are being supplied as part of Raytheons Improved Thermal Sighting System (ITSS) on the USMC LAV-25 life extension and for its related M1A1 Firepower Enhancement Program (FEP). An additional 160 North Finding Modules have been added, with another 50 - 60 NFMs forecasted to be ordered by the summer of 2006 for the balance of the M1A1 Firepower Enhancement Program. The combined ITSS/FEP North Finding Module program is valued at $20 million.
Raytheons ITSS includes a second generation thermal infrared sensor, north finding module, laser rangefinder and computerised fire control system. ITSS provides the USMC with extended far target location and improved target identification capability. Smiths North Finding Module (NFM) consists of an Inertial Reference Unit (IRU) that measures the earths turn-rate to determine precisely a True North direction. This accurate pointing is then applied to achieve the ITSS Far Target Location (FTL) function. The Smiths IRU has been selected for more than 40 military North Finding Module and Land Navigation System applications, such as main battle tanks, light armoured vehicles, air defence systems and unmanned ground vehicles.