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By Julian Nettlefold

20 Jun 11. BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold met Earl Lewis, Chairman and CEO of FLIR Systems, Inc.

“When we last met up you were completing the acquisition of ICx, has that gone to plan.”

“Yes, the ICx acquisition has taken us into new areas such as CBRN, radars and vehicle integration in particular. Following a protest by Raytheon, which failed, in May, we announced a significant contract win from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) valued at up to $101.9 million. This has taken FLIR into a totally new area of vehicle integration and build. Our facilities in Alpharetta, GA, and Wilsonville, OR., inherited as part of the ICx acquisition, have the ability to convert or modify a whole range of wheeled vehicles and trailers for specialist applications, we intend to expand this capability.”

In May of this year FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that its ICx
Technologies subsidiary 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 350. The award builds on ICx’s thirteen year history of providing CBP with tactical systems. 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.

“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.”

“ICx possessed some key technologies and instruments which we are now developing into new products for specialist markets.” Bill Sundermeier, president of FLIR Detection & Protection told the Editor. “In March FLIR announced the release of the Griffin™ 460 mobile GC/MS (gas chromatograph mass spectrometer) instrument. This state-of-the-art instrument enables innovative multi-modal sample introduction for liquid, solid, and vapor samples while also providing continuous, direct air monitoring. The Griffin 460 is the only mobile GC/MS to provide this range of sample introduction in a single system that also enables MS/MS.”

The Griffin 460 is ideal for field-based forensics and other mobile laboratory applications, as well as for integration into facility air handling systems. During continuous monitoring applications, the Griffin 460 can be programmed to alert at the presence of selected chemicals in both indoor and outdoor environments for near real-time detection and identification of a chemical agent release. The Griffin 460 simplifies sample handling through the use of unique, extremely light weight accessories such as a fully automated purge and trap accessory and the Griffin X-Sorber, the only handheld vapor sampler with thermal desorption capabilities.

“The Griffin family of products have been in use with the U.S. military, DoD, DHS and other domestic and international agencies for explosives, narcotics and other chemical target detection and confirmation,” said Bill Sundermeier. “The release of the Griffin 460 takes this capability one step further, providing superior performance and continuing the tradition of taking best-in-class technology outside the lab and into the field, where it is

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