Finmeccanica last week said its SELEX Galileo subsidiary and BAE Systems have signed a partnering agreement to provide thermal weapon sights manufactured by BAE for the forthcoming surveillance and target acquisition increment of Britain’s Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) Program.

“We are delighted that BAE Systems has agreed to work with us on FIST,” Doug Baxter, senior vice resident Land Systems Support and Service Solution at SELEX Galileo, said in a statement. “This builds on an already successful relationship with other uncooled products and the contribution of BAE Systems’ program management and manufacturing expertise will ideally complement SELEX Galileo existing capability.”

FIST is the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) program that aims to enhance the combat effectiveness of the infantry in the 21st Century.

It is designed to provide a system of complementary, integrated capabilities to the infantry section which, when the effects are combined, will provide increased mission effectiveness in dismounted close combat by reducing casualties, raising operational tempo and increasing readiness for further operations, SELEX said.

SELEX Galileo and BAE will offer a family of three high performance thermal weapon sights (light, medium, and heavy) as a flexible and cost effective solution to the FIST requirement.

Thermal technology is now capable of delivering identification ranges similar to visual and image intensified weapon sights, and allows thermal only sights to be considered as a ‘best-value’ solution to capability needs, SELEX said.

This is in addition to the entire suite of integrated surveillance and target acquisition capabilities being developed for the Italian MoD ‘Soldato Futuro’ Program and ensures that the U.K. MoD will have access to affordable international technologies with proven support and technology growth, SELEX added.

“The FIST program will play a vital role for the U.K. infantry, and we believe our proven experience and expertise in delivering thermal weapon sights to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps will add significant value to the FIST program throughout its life cycle,” Steve Jamison, vice president and general manager of BAE in Lexington, Massachusetts, said.