Procurement: More Mini-Thermals Mandated

Archives

March 22,2008: The U.S. Army has ordered another $130 million worth of the AN/PAS-13 thermal sights. This device enables infantry to see through darkness, mist and dust storms, because it can make out differences in heat.

The AN/PAS-13 actually comes in three sizes, to accommodate the different ranges of infantry weapons. The smallest one, weighing 1.8 pounds, is used on your basic M-16 or M-4 assault rifle. This sight has a range of 550 meters. I uses 4 AA batteries (lithium, as used in cameras), which gets you about 5.5 hours of use.

The next version weighs 2.8 pounds, has a range of 1,100 meters and is used in 5.56mm and 7.62mm machine-guns. This sight requires six AA batteries (for 6.5 hours). The heaviest version weighs 3.9 pounds, has a range of 2,200 meters, and is used by heavy machine-guns and snipers. This one also requires six AA batteries (for 6.5 hours).

The AN/PAS-13 began showing up in Iraq and Afghanistan about a year ago, and now everyone wants one. About 20,000 have been delivered so far, and production is headed for 3,000 sights a month. Unless there is a much improved new version in the next few years (no one is sure, engineers can be unpredictable), the army plans to buy as many as 150,000 AN/PAS-13 sights (at a cost of over $10,000 each).

 

Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad

Help Keep Us Alive!

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close