Teledyne Flir, a subsidiary of Thousand Oaks-based manufacturer Teledyne Technologies Inc., has received a contract to develop the first mass-wearable chemical detector for U.S. troops.

The contract awards $4 million in initial funding to the company under the Pentagon’s Compact Vapor Chemical Agent Detector program.


The dual-sensor device will detect chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals, as well as flammable gases and enriched or depleted oxygen levels that may indicate an explosive atmosphere, Teledyne Flir said in a release.


Roger Wells, vice president and general manager of unmanned systems and integrated solutions at Teledyne Flir, said that the new sensor is an important effort for the U.S.’ chem-bio defense program as toxic weapons represent a growing threat to military personnel.


“Putting a wearable sensor on all warfighters will offer an unprecedented level of chemical threat awareness, enabling them to perform their primary mission with far greater safety,” Wells said in a statement.


Currently, troops lack the protection of an individually worn sensor. They rely on mostly larger devices and alarms that alert entire units of a local chemical hazard, the company said in its release.


The new, lightweight sensor will provide the benefit of individual protection for every warfighter, particularly all U.S. soldiers and marines conducting ground operations, the company added.


Teledyne acquired Flir earlier this year.


Shares of Teledyne Technologies (TDY) closed Monday up 73 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $424.81 on the New York Stock Exchange on a day when the Dow Jones closed down a fraction of a percent.