Future non-nuclear warfare scenarios emphasize rapidly developing combat situations where 24-hour adverse weather operation will be mandatory. Infrared sensors will continue to play a major role. Airborne intelligence is divided into three major types, Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Strike/Strike assessment. These tasks provide a continuing important role for infrared line scan systems (IRLS) since a single sensor can satisfy requirements of each intelligence type. Near term (to 1985), mid-term (to 1990) and far-term (to 1995 and beyond) development trends are briefly surveyed to show how IRLS systems are evolving to meet the new requirements of lower altitude, higher v/h, oblique viewing, rapid film interpretation, bandwidth compression, data linking, target screening and synergistic combinations with laser scanners and microwave scanners. Technology trends are noted and it is shown how these may be exploited in new sensor systems.