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Mastery in all environments and atmospheric conditions is a mission critical advantage

By Craig Taylor, Marketing Communications Manager, Excelitas Qioptiq

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Clip on systems for Sharpshooter and Sniper weapon platforms are increasing in demand as armed forces push to achieve greater target identification ranges during night-time and adverse weather conditions. With weapon systems and operators capable of engaging targets at extended ranges during the day, the aim is to match that capability at night.

However the human eye only receives information from a narrow band of the Electromagnetic Spectrum and it has limited Night Time ability. The Optical Spectrum consists of Ultraviolet, Visible and IR Light. To see at night, several technologies have been developed. You can illuminate the scene you wish to observe (Visible, IR) but this can give away your position. You can use Intensification of the visible light reflected by the scene and you can use Thermal Imaging (IR) – or a combination of these.

Cooled and Uncooled Thermal - Thermal Imaging converts IR Energy radiated by objects into a visible Image. The system senses and measures IR Radiation and creates a video Image suitable for viewing. A cooled Thermal camera uses the addition of a cryocooled sensor and can detect very small temperature differences. Image Intensification - The Image Intensifier absorbs light energy and converts it into electrons that are multiplied thousands of times. Fused thermal / image intensified - To overcome the shortfalls of both systems and to maximise the advantages Qioptiq have created Fused or Blended sights. These systems use thermal and image intensified technology, combined in a powerful light weight package to deliver both identification and recognition.

Thermal Sights – DRAGON S (Sniper) turns up the heat! This new Uncooled Thermal Imager - In-line Thermal Weapon Sight provides mission winning capability.

DRAGON-S12 is the new In-line Thermal Sight, and is part of the latest development in thermal imaging technology. Providing snipers with 24hr surveillance and target engagement capability, the sight is designed specifically to meet target and surveillance requirements for military customers and law enforcement agencies, providing high performance within a lightweight compact and rugged military qualified design. This delivers a capability to detect, recognize and identify man and vehicle targets 24hours a day, in poor visibility, in total darkness and through battlefield obscurants.

DRAGON-S12 utilizes a state of the art 640x480 format 12μm, 60Hz uncooled thermal sensor coupled with a near silent shutter, delivering class leading sensitivity and uniformity. The sight attaches to Picatinny and NATO accessory rails in front of the day sight via a quick release throw lever, providing 24hr capability without the need to remove or re-zero the day sight.

Cooled Sights - PHOENIX rises to deliver enhanced range target location & engagement. The potential to integrate the mwir-hot technology into a robust, reliable and swap traded weapon sight has become a reality.

PHOENIX, is a suite of Dismounted VAS products that will provide the Warfighter with enhanced Observation, Target Location and Target Engagement capabilities, based upon a common thermal core and operating architecture, enhanced connectivity and capability growth potential. PHOENIX-S provides long range observation and engagement capability - well aligned to the range capabilities of modern 0.338” and 0.5” Sniper Rifles and Ammunition, whilst still being sufficiently compact and lightweight to be utilized on 7.62 Sharpshooter / Support Weapon platforms.

PHOENIX-H shares the HOT Thermal Core and central processing with PHOENIX-S for commonality, but also features a digital day channel, Laser Range Finder, Laser Pointer, GPS and an advanced AHRS (Attitude and Reference Heading System) which provides accurate own and target location. The PHOENIX systems are ITAR free solutions, whilst utilizing the latest in sensor and display technologies.

Image Intensified – MERLIN LR proves mastery over the night. This new long range image intensified weapon sight delivers mission critical enhancements.

MERLIN-LR is a new Image Intensified Clip-On weapon sight. This state-of-the-art sight is fully military qualified and is designed to be compatible with variable magnification day scopes for medium to longer range surveillance and target engagement. It attaches to Picatinny / NATO rails in front of the day sight via a locking quick release throw lever, and provides 24hr capability without the need to remove or re-zero the day sight.

MERLIN-LR is equipped with a high performance catadioptric objective lens and a bright, sharp, large aperture collimating optics to give a lightweight, compact yet rugged package. It is available with the latest P43 and P45 phosphor Image Intensifier Tubes, from the world’s leading suppliers. The sight is suitable for a wide variety of weapon systems including AR Platforms, Designated Marksman Rifles, and Single Action Sniper Systems up to and including 12.7mm/0.50 Calibre.

Blended Sights - SAKER Fused Sight Soaring Above the Competition The latest Image Intensifier / Thermal – Fused Weapon Sight for medium range surveillance and target engagement operations.

SAKER is the new Medium Range Fused Weapon Sight, providing the Dismounted Warfighter with an enhanced, multi waveband Detect, Recognize & Identify capability. The sight is fitted with a 12μm, 60Hz uncooled thermal sensor coupled with a High FOM Image Intensifier Tube, in either Green or White Phosphor, delivering class leading sensitivity, uniformity and system latency.

SAKER provides a low power architecture and is a fully military qualified. Designed specifically for medium range surveillance and target engagement operations, it attaches to Picatinny or NATO accessory rails in front of the day sight via a quick release throw lever, providing 24hr capability without the need to remove or re-zero the day sight. SAKER is a state-of-the-art system combining the latest Image Intensification and uncooled Thermal Imaging capability in a single lightweight, compact yet rugged package.

Over many years we have developed the total capability to provide some of the most innovative and focused optical solutions to today’s technological challenges. Whatever the requirement, we stand ready to support our armed forces with the latest mission critical equipment.

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