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By Julian Nettlefold

22 Oct 12. FLIR Systems Inc. showed off its considerable Systems Integration capability at AUSA National last week. The growth of this capability was mirrored in the latest FLIR financials that show a growth of 42% in this area. (See: BUSINEES NEWS: ‘FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced financial results.’) FLIR showed systems provided for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and a new system Kraken, which has been recently deployed to Afghanistan.

Customs and Border Protection

In May of 2011 FLIR Systems, Inc. was awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) valued at up to $101.9 million, for the procurement of Mobile Surveillance Capabilities systems. The five year, firm fixed price contract includes a $26 million funded base year with four option periods and calls for integrated mobile surveillance and detection systems made to operate day and night in rugged areas of the U.S. southern border. FLIR’s HRC-X ultra-long range thermal imaging camera will be included on the vehicle-mounted surveillance towers, the vehicle in question is the Ford F-350 as demonstrated on the FLIR Booth. It is expected that work under this contract will be performed primarily out of FLIR’s facilities in Alpharetta, GA, and Wilsonville, OR. Deliveries are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2011. 30 systems are being delivered this year with as many as 100 expected. FLIR is building two demonstrator systems on the Ford F-350 for demonstrations overseas, particularly in the Middle East. The surveillance system is loaded onto the flatbed truck with a fork lift. Other vehicle types are being studied such as NAVISTAR and Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG. The 20ft mast is lowered for transport and quickly deployed when the location is reached.

“Helping protect the safety and security of the public and its borders is a key tenet of the FLIR product philosophy,” said Earl Lewis, President and CEO of FLIR. “We are proud to have been chosen by CBP to provide high-value, next generation surveillance systems that will greatly ease the significant challenges faced by U.S. border agents.”


FLIR has received orders for nine Kraken systems for delivery to Afghanistan, 1 is for integration usage 3 have been delivered and the other 5 will be delivered to theatre.

Kraken, an ISO Container-based system, is a portable surveillance system that gives long, mid and short range surveillance capabilities. Kraken has a FLIR TacFLIR 3DHD camera which is linked to an HD EO/IR channel sending radar and camera images to the operator who can be located at least 50 – 100 metres away from the container. The operator has a complete portable suite of lap tops and screens covering all systems in tandem. The Elta Ground Radar allows the operator to see vehicles up to 20kms away and people at 12kms. In addition to the radar and camera, Kraken has a Boomerang and Shot Spotter sniper detection system. Kraken has a 5KW generator to power all the systems.

The next generation of Kraken will include wireless communications and additional functionality such as C-RAM mortar locating capability.

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