The infrared (IR) detectors produced in France are using up to date and well mastered technologies based on Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe-MCT) material. Based on the maturity of these IR detectors and technologies, IR systems have been produced and are more and more used in different applications including military, security, process
control, environment monitoring, science and space. The produced IR cameras are the so-called second and second and half generations which are very performing but still have some limitation regarding identification, their ability to operate in all weather conditions, and in terms of compactness and reliability. Therefore researches for moving to the next generation (the third one) of cooled detectors
have started to overcome these limitations with the use of bi-color or dual-band as well as to offer more performances. To conduct these researches SOFRADIR and CEA-LETI (LIR) have set up a specific organization, called DEFIR (Design of Excellence for the Future of IR), necessary to increase the efficiency and to reduce the time to production of this new generation. The approach in France regarding the key technologies for the third generation considers the different parameters from the performance to the system cost criteria. Among all the technologies candidates, a new HgCdTe technologies based on molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) have been chosen. Then prototype demonstrations are in progress and confirm the validity of the chosen key technologies.