Our History


DRS goes public


DRS advances infrared research by purchasing Boeing's uncooled Focal Plane Array business

Leonardo acquires DRS

DRS recognized as #1 volume manufacturer of uncooled thermal imaging detectors


Time Line

Diagnostic/Retrieval Systems, Inc. (DRS) is founded

First forward-looking infrared (FLIR) developed


Leonardo DRS advances infrared research by purchasing Infrared Technologies in Dallas, Texas, and Hughes EO, El Segundo, California from Raytheon

Texas Instruments sells its defense business to Raytheon after which the Department of Justice requires divestiture of EO/IR operations


DRS launches DRS Infrared to bring high-quality, affordable thermal imaging products to the commercial marketplace

Leonardo DRS, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A., is a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to organizations worldwide. The Network and Imaging Systems (NIS) division develops, manufactures and supports electro-optical technologies, including advanced cooled and uncooled thermal imaging solutions for industrial, security, public safety and firefighting purposes, as well as for man-portable, ground-vehicle, airborne, and maritime applications.

World Class Manufacturing

DRS NIS was formed through a series of acquisitions beginning in 1995 with the purchase of Opto Mechanik Inc (OMI) in Melbourne, Florida. OMI was an optics manufacturer of visible and thermal imaging applications in commercial and military systems. In 1998, Leonardo DRS purchased portions of Texas Instruments and Hughes Aircraft's infrared sensors and systems businesses from the Raytheon Company after the Department of Justice required their divestiture. These businesses provided DRS with technology from the common module detector that dated back to the 1960's and 1970's. Texas Instruments and Hughes Aircraft were two of the premier infrared sensor and system providers at the time and the assets and technology purchased during this time became the cornerstone for DRS’ superior technology and advanced manufacturing processes.

DRS Micro Thermal Imager

The 2001 acquisition of the Focal Plane Array business from the Boeing Corporation provided the critical infrared technology needed to complete the technology and capability portfolio. This business segment designed and manufactured infrared sensors and systems, and through an acquisition of Rockwell, was the first licensee of the uncooled microbolometer technology from Honeywell. Leonardo DRS obtained this license through the sale from Boeing. These important acquisitions from 1995 to 2001, combined with continued investment in research and development, resulted in DRS Network and Imaging Systems becoming a premier infrared technology, design and manufacturing leader.

Thermal Image

Leonardo DRS has been a leader in the revolution towards the next generation of low power, compact size, high reliability and high performance thermal imaging components and sensor systems. Advances in mid-wave and long-wave technology, along with patented flat spring cooler technology and pixel pitch design has thrust Leonardo DRS to the forefront of both uncooled and cooled thermal imaging systems.

With nearly half a century of infrared innovation, Leonardo DRS is exceptionally well-positioned for meeting the needs of fast-growing commercial applications leading to the creation of DRS’ Infrared Sensors & Systems (IS&S) and DRSInfrared.com to support commercial applications. With operations in Melbourne, Fla., Huntsville, Ala., Dallas, Tex., Cypress, Calif., Columbia, Md. and the UK, DRS NIS is the prominent provider of infrared technology and sensors, embedded diagnostics, information solutions and operational energy for military agencies and industry partners alike.

Leonardo DRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo which employs more than 45,000 people worldwide.

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