Fraser Optics (then called Fraser-Volpe Corporation) was founded in 1972 by Joseph Volpe, an electrical engineer previously with General Electric and Dr. David Fraser, a physicist, as a provider of gyro-mechanical stabilized optical sighting systems, stabilized fire-control systems and build-to-print sub-systems. Fraser Optics initially focused on the military and government markets due to the growing demand for these products domestically and internationally. In 1995, the U.S. Army awarded to Fraser Optics a contract to modify Fraser Optics’ primary product, the stabilized binocular, to meet U.S. Army requirements, which specified a 14 power gyro-stabilized binocular with interchangeable day/night eyepieces. Through this initial contract award, Fraser Optics invested heavily in the research and development of these capabilities. Fraser Optics’ development efforts yielded its flagship product, the M-25, enabling Fraser Optics to ultimately establish its position as the sole supplier of stabilized binoculars to the U.S. Army.
Fraser Optics cemented its relationship as the sole supplier of stabilized binoculars to the U.S. Army through a five-year IDIQ contract awarded in 2000. Under this contract, Fraser Optics delivered thousands of units and consistently maintained high-performance standards. In 2005, Fraser Optics won a second five-year IDIQ contract providing for further delivery of M-25 binoculars, under which Fraser Optics’ production volumes and revenues increased substantially. In 2009 Fraser Optics was awarded a new three-year, sole source contract for the delivery of units, depot repairs and spare parts associated with the M-25.
Following the initial success of the M-25 binocular, Fraser Optics leveraged the proprietary design of its core product to expand its family of stabilized binocular products. The introduction of the Observer, Navigator, Aviator and Mariner provided access into other key market segments, such as border protection, law enforcement and commercial sport fishing. Fraser Optics expanded its product portfolio in anticipation of continued increased demand for advanced technologies for use by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and has experienced success in penetrating these markets.
In recent years, Fraser Optics has executed on a growth strategy focused on the introduction of next-generation products as well as the greater penetration of new market segments. In 2008, Fraser Optics launched SPOTTR, a laser target tracker designed to support ground-based forward observers in the Air Force and other agencies, which quickly gained acceptance due to the substantial demand for optical systems enabling precise laser designation and confirmation in battlefield environments.
Guided by constant collaboration with U.S. military agencies and internal product development objectives, Fraser Optics has developed several next-generation products offering substantial advancements in functionality and reductions in size, weight and cost. This enhanced set of products, the BYLITE, MONOLILTE and L-PETS, has been received favorably from target customers. Fraser Optics expects to continue its past success in the military market while penetrating additional segments in the law enforcement, security and international markets.
Fraser Optics continues to work with various U.S. military labs to demonstrate stabilization of new technologies in new applications. In particular, Fraser Optics’ work has lead to the development of a stabilized handheld laser target designator designed to replace much larger, heavier tripod mounted designators and leading to the bundling of this technology to build stabilized, hand-held targeting devices. Fraser Optics has also proposed projects in connection with Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane to develop stabilized vehicle cameras. The addition of stabilization to these cameras will bring a whole new level of performance to the peripheral vision systems of moving military vehicles.