About Us

Leading Infrared Innovation from Sensor to System

From the first forward-looking infrared equipment in the 1960’s, to the maturation of the world’s most powerful thermal imaging devices of today — Leonardo DRS has built a legacy of thermal advancement.

Thermal ExcellenceThermal Excellence
A Legacy of Thermal Advancement

From the first forward-looking infrared equipment in the 1960's, to the maturation of the world's most powerful thermal imaging devices of today - Leonardo DRS has built a legacy of thermal advancement.

Defense IndustryDefense Industry
A History of Defense Industry Support

The evolution of Leonardo DRS uncooled infrared sensors and systems in derived from its roots in supporting the defense industry. Supplying superior imaging for the U.S. military's critical operations on the ground, in the air and in open waters.

Commercial IR SystemsCommercial IR Systems
A Trailblazer in Commercial Infrared Systems

Leveraging its lineage in infrared Research and Development for military applications, and expansion into high-volume, stream-lined manufacturing processes, Leonardo DRS is delivering cutting-edge thermal technology to commercial markets.

Manufacturing and R&DManufacturing and R&D
A Manufacturing and R&D Innovator

Leonardo DRS is well positioned to address the next-generation of commercial infrared markets due in large part to its continuous investment in Research & Development and the manufacturing efficiencies gained through high-yield production processes.

Infrared Innovation

1963 - 19701963
The defense and electroincs group of Texas Instruments, Inc. began research on infrared technology in it's 'SC Building,' which is still in use today.

The birth of the first Foward Looking Infrared (FLIR), or "Old Number One", as it would come to be known. After a successful aerial demonstration atop the Vietnam battlefield in 1965, Old Number One went into production the following year.

Research funding received for the development of cooled detectors that would lead to production of fully operational mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) focal plan arrays (FPAS).

The concept of the common module FLIR was first developed; the design was the first of it's kind to significantly reduce cost and allow for reuse of common components.

1963 - 19701975
U.S. Patent #3,889,119 is issued for the first MCT based common module FLIR using photoconductors and industry standard cryogenic coolers.

The U.S. workshop on the physics and chemistry of MCT (now expanded to "II-VI Materials") was founded with its inaugural event held in Minneapolis, MN. Still thriving today, the II-VI workshop is a highly influential open forum for MCT theory and improvement.

The U.S. Army initiated the Army helicopter improvement program (AHIP), to include the Mast-Mounted Sight (MMS).

1963 - 1970Breakthrough research was initiated on the growth of MCT material employing liquid phase epitaxy (LPE) on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) alloy.

The advanced anti-tank weapon system-medium (AAWS-M) development contract award laid the ground work for the U.S. Army's Javelin Man-Portable Missile. Full scale production would begin in 1991.

'Two-Color', a major advancement in infrared sensor development, an integrated focal plane array (FPA) capable of sensing both long-wave and mid-wave was first demonstrated on a 64 x 64 resolution detector.

1963 - 19701995
Delivery of the first specification compliant Standard Advanced Dewar Assembly (SADA II) 480 x 5 DDCS to Horizontal Technology Integration (HTI) risk reduction.

First 51 µm pitch detector introduced with a resolution of 320 x 240.

After Raytheon purchases the Defense Systems and Electronics Group from Texas Instruments (1997) and Hughes Aircraft from General Motors (1998), a required divestiture allowed DRS Technologies to purchase the Focal Plan Array Development (FPAD) and Focal Plane Array Manufacturing (FPAM) businesses.

1963 - 1970High density vertically integrated photodiode (HDVIP®) Dual-band Focal Plane Arrays for Missile warning applications are first demonstrated.

The 500th MMS was delivered for integration on the Kiowa Warrior.

DRS is awarded the Improved Bradley Aquisition Subsystem (IBAS) program featuring a Second Generation FLIR technology, supporting the Army's Horizontal Technology Integration (HTI) initiative.

1963 - 19702003
The first of it's kind, DRS introduced the 25 µm pitch uncooled Vanadium Oxide (VOX) infrared detector to the market.

The Driver Vision Enhancer (DVE) program was awarded by the U.S. Army's communication-electronics command to outfit frontline combat and tactical wheeled vehicles with systems that combine an uncooled infrared sensor, display and control module for critical situational awareness.

1963 - 19702007
DRS received the Thermal Weapons Sight (TWS) program award to deliever the next generation Family of Thermal Weapon Sights in three variants; Light, Medium and Heavy weapons sights. Over the course of the program, over 70,000 TWS' were delivered to U.S. and allied forces.

DRS was recognized by the reputable research firm, Maxtech International, as the number one volume manufacturer of uncooeld FPAS dating back to 2006, making DRS the largets provider of uncooled detectors in the industry.

DRS delivered it's 2,000th Apache receiver. Patent #7,622,717: Advanced Absorber Microbolometer Superstructure - a revolutionary design that would also mark the embarking of DRS' Commercial Infrared Systems business.

Completed U.S. Army qualification, leading to mass production of the soon to be industry standard 17 µm uncooled detectors.

1963 - 19702011
DRS' Commercial Infrared Systems business introduced it's revolutionary Tamarisk® Family of Miniture Thermal Camera Cores to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers.

The Navy awards the Improved Night/Day Observation Device (INOD) program to DRS to develop a Long-Range clip-on Thermal Sight.

1963 - 19702013
DRS is awarded the contract for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the Army's Joint Effects Targeting Systems (JETS), the next-generation precision target location and designation system.

The Army contracting office at Aberdeen Proving Ground announced the award for the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III (ENVG III) and it's associated Family of Weapons Sights - Individual (FWS-I).

The U.S. Army completed qualification of DRS' IBAS Block 2 Target Acquisition System Complete with High-Definition day color camera, IR sensor and a laser rangefinder.