FLIR expanding Gulf presence

Published 12 November 2007

FLIR’s sensor technology, used in border protection and perimeter defense, among other applications, has won the company several hefty contracts in the Gulf region; company eager to build on its success

FLIR Systems Dubai is eager to build on its recent contracts in the region for its sensor technology. The company specializes in supplying border protection and perimeter defense equipment from its three divisions — Thermography, Commercial Vision Systems (CVS), and Government Systems (GS). Bob Coveney, FLIR Government Systems’ vice president for business development in the Middle East, told Flight: ”Our primary customers in 2007 were Qatar, UAE Ministry of Defence and Police Services, Oman Royal Guards and Pakistan Ministry of Defence. As the VP responsible for this region, I can tell you that these customers are smart, they know the technologies available in the market space and they resoundingly buy from FLIR. Generally, the supply has been for airborne sensors for the purpose of critical infrastructure protection and anti-smuggling/anti-terror. We also see a burgeoning market in both ground sensors for border and force protection along with coastal and maritime surveillance for, both fixed and onboard ships.”

FLIR supports the products it sells from a $2 million property located in the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ). “DAFZ is unique — this means no customs or taxation hassles for regional customers,” says Coveney. “It is as though the repair is taking place in their own country.” FLIR’s low-light sensor technology is being integrated in a variety of applications. “Generally, ‘bad guys come out at night’,” says Coveney. “We are honoured to have SeaFLIRs on board ships and our Star SAFIRE class airborne sensors onboard Boeing CH-47 Chinooks, Cessna Caravans and Eurocopter Super Pumas. We tend to lead with lightweight — rugged and environmentally-suited products. The TALON, for example, is a large format system with four payloads (laser range finder, laser pointer, day TV, IR camera and with an auto track and inertial measurement unit) in a nine-inch gimbal.” An unnamed Gulf Arab country has also taken delivery of nineteen sets of FLIR’s RECON III, which allows full GPS positioning. Coveney does not mince words. “We have world class products, at favourable prices and we support those products regionally.”