Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier: $140 M to DRS for Thermal Sights


  1. US PEO Soldier Initiative
  2. Program Executive Officer (PEO) Soldier
  3. Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI)
  4. DRS Receives $140 M for Thermal Sights
  5. About the Technology
  6. Terry Murphy quote


1. US PEO Soldier Initiative

PEO Soldier’s vision is to be the center of excellence for delivering Soldier warfighting capability to dominate the battlefield across the full spectrum of war. PEO Soldier remains focused directly and exclusively on the Soldier – today and through the Army’s transformation to the Future Force. The PEO’s objectives are: Increase Soldiers’ combat effectiveness; Deliver products that save Soldier’s lives; and Improve Soldiers’ quality of life. PEO Soldier designs, develops, procures and sustains virtually everything the Soldier wears or carries. This encompasses 378 different programs at 5 different locations valued at 3.2 billion dollars

Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier was created by the Army with one primary purpose: to develop the best equipment and field it as quickly as possible so that our Soldiers remain second to none in missions that span the full spectrum of military operations.

As recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have vividly demonstrated, getting the right equipment to our military men and women is absolutely critical.

By viewing the Soldier as part of an integrated system, PEO Soldier ensures that the Soldier and everything he or she wears or carries works together as an integrated system. The result is an overall systematic design that benefits Soldiers by enhancing their ability to accomplish individual and collective tasks, improving quality of life, building confidence, and saving lives. In this respect, PEO Soldier is at the vanguard of Army transformation.

Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, PEO Soldier designs, develops, procures, fields, and sustains virtually everything the Soldier wears or carries. By employing innovative concepts and technologies, PEO Soldier has made great strides in quickly getting improved equipment into the hands of Soldiers when and where they need it.

2 Program Executive Officer (PEO) Soldier

Brigadier General Peter Nelson Fuller is the Program Executive Officer Soldier, based at Fort Belvoir, Va. A native of Andover, Mass., Brigadier General Fuller was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1980 after graduating from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. He also holds a Master of Science in Public Administration, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pa.; a Master of Science in Military Arts and Sciences, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; and a Master of Science in Resourcing of the National Security Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

3 Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI)

PEO Soldier launched the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) in 2002 to streamline the process for distributing equipment to deploying units and ensure that all Soldiers—regular Army, Guard, and Reserve— were outfitted with the most advanced individual and unit equipment available, providing significant improvements to Soldier combat effectiveness, survivability, and operational quality of life. To date, RFI has equipped nearly 1.5 million deploying Soldiers.

RFI coordinates the activities of three closely aligned cells responsible for the planning, logistic support, and fielding operations associated with the expeditious equipping of deploying Soldiers and units. The focus of fielding operations has transitioned over time from immediate-response, in-theater fielding efforts to scheduled, home station fielding events coordinated to minimize the impact on pre-deployment training.

Equipment fielded by RFI currently consists of 73 items procured by the Project Managers that provide capabilities enhancements essential to combat operations. Items currently fielded by RFI include individual Soldier mission-essential equipment, such as the advanced combat helmet and ballistic eye protection, and organizational force protection/mobility items, such as urban terrain equipment and infrared strobes. The list also includes critical unit lethality enhancement items such as improved ammunition packs, small binoculars, and advanced weapons optics.

As Soldiers deploy for their second, third, or fourth combat tour, RFI has implemented the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) processes to minimize duplicative fieldings of equipment. The process, called “Lean Fielding,” saved the Army over $84 million in its first 12 months. RFI’s latest LSS project for accountability transfer automates support systems and reduces the administrative workload on gaining commands in updating property books and effecting lateral transfers of equipment to individual clothing records. Furthermore, RFI planning and fielding activities fully support and complement the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) operating cycle.

PEO Soldier is restructuring in order to institutionalize the RFI process through the establishment of a G4 Directorate. This is aimed at achieving the greatest synergism and efficiencies from the acquisition and fielding cells within the Project Management and Director Offices to field the Soldier as a system. This transformation also encompasses a reduction of the historical reliance on supplemental funding for Soldier equipment in order to provide more predictable requirements over time and facilitate programming of funds to support the modernization process.

4 DRS Receives $140 M for Thermal Sights

DRS Technologies, Inc. announced it has received $140 million in orders for Thermal Sights from the U.S. Army PEO Soldier, Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers (PM SSL).

The orders, which are part of a $387-million contract, include $68 million in Light, Medium and Heavy Weapon Thermal Sights for the U.S. Army and $72 million in Medium and Heavy Weapon Thermal Sights for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Deliveries for the U.S. Army will occur January to December 2011. Deliveries for the U.S. Marine Corps will start in October 2010 and will continue through July 2011.

The units will be manufactured by the Melbourne, Florida and Dallas, Texas operations of the DRS Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Target Acquisition (RSTA) business group.

5 About the Technology:

The Thermal Sights offer menu-based, push-button controls for fast and easy polarity, brightness and reticule adjustment and employ proven 25-micron, uncooled infrared technology that provides the warfighter a crisp thermal image of target information.

The Light Weapon Thermal Sight offers a 15-degree horizontal field-of-view lens that’s ideal whenever a wide FOV with close-in focus is required — including Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT). It also provides a narrow FOV for detection and recognition of distant targets. The Light Weapon Thermal Sight is powered by a four-pack of L91 tactical batteries lasting 25 hours.

Medium and Heavy Weapon Thermal Sights are designed for crew-served weapons and differ only in their telescope assemblies. Equipped with 3X e-zoom, each interfaces with a variety of 52- and 103-mm telescopes. These sights are powered by six packs of L91 batteries with an 18-hour life.

6 Executive Quote

Terry Murphy, President, DRS Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Target Acquisition (RSTA): “Our Thermal Sights are giving American warfighters a significant advantage in battlefields of all kinds, including challenging urban environments.”

“The DRS employees who design and build these sights recognize how vitally important these capabilities can be. They’re humbled to be playing even a distant role in helping our soldiers and Marines do the best possible job and committed to making sure that the DRS Thermal Sights deliver outstanding performance in even the most dangerous situations.”

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