Clear vision in all conditions is a mission critical advantage
Evolving requirements to engage targets accurately and effectively at greater ranges has driven performance developments in weapon systems and ammunition. Trained operators can defeat targets at those extended ranges, and the challenge to ensure that ability is exploited 24hrs a day under a range of environmental conditions is one Excelitas continues to rise to.
The aim is to match the capability of the weapon platform and the expertise of the operator with the required sighting solutions for the theatre of operations. To ensure mission success in varied lighting and environmental conditions several technologies are available- Image Intensified (II), Thermal Imaging (TI), and Fused (II+TI). Excelitas are at the forefront of these developments.
Excelitas, through Qioptiq has an extensive history in the design, development and deployment of Dismounted Warfighter Visual Augmentation System (VAS) solutions covering Night Vision, Thermal and Fused technologies, and offers a wide range of products to suit different operational needs.
PHOENIX-S is a Cooled, Medium Wave InfraRed – High Operating Temperature (MWIR-HOT) In-Line sight, providing the long range observation and engagement capability well aligned to the range capabilities of modern 0.338 and 0.50 Sniper Rifles and Ammunition, whilst still being sufficiently compact and lightweight to be utilised on 7.62 Sharpshooter / Support Weapon platforms.
The main challenge with PHOENIX-S was to engineer a solution that would prove robust and reliable when used with 0.338 and 0.50 Semi-Automatic and Bolt Action Weapons, along with ensuring boresight retention, and the ability to adapt the system for Extended Range Engagements (ERE) out past 2km. Extensive development work analysing high speed shock data captured from a range of weapon systems, coupled with proprietary shock analysis and modelling capability has resulted in a mechanical design construction that significantly reduces the amount of weapon shock that is transferred directly to the PHOENIX-S Thermal Core, Optics and Electronics. This in turn ensures that boresight retention is achieved, and overall system MTBF is improved over similar products using Cooled MWIR cores. The ERE capability is achieved by compensating the sight orientation via a simplistic control.
Another challenge was to deliver a good balance of Field of View V’s Range Performance, retaining a good level of Situational Awareness, even at longer ranges whilst ensuring ease of use for the User. The Users are provided with enhanced imaging features, including the subtle use of colour and target outlining algorithms which further assists the Detection, Recognition and Identification of targets at extended ranges.
PHOENIX-H is a multi-function hand held observation and target location system sharing the same MWIR-HOT 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 Attitude and Reference Heading System (AHRS) which provides accurate own and target location.
The thermal channel of PHOENIX-H is a true optical zoom providing the User with Field of View options from 16 degrees in Wide Field of View, to 2 degrees in Narrow Field of View, which results in man sized target detection at ranges in excess of 6km and vehicle sized target detection at ranges in excess of 11km. The digital optical channel is matched to the thermal channel, which provides fused imaging capability for enhanced target interrogation.
Connectivity is a theme that flows through the PHOENIX system concept, with the ability to share images, target information and other battlefield data between PHOENIX systems being seen as a key differentiator over existing / similar “Stand Alone” VAS products.
Collaborative Target Handoff (CTH) is a capability that will be embedded within all PHOENIX product variants. CTH provides the PHOENIX operators to share or “hand off” targeting location data between systems using a combination if image processing algorithms and Augmented Reality (AR) in order to position target locations and other critical battlefield information within the operators field of view. All achieved by intuitive MMI without the need for verbal or radio communications, which is seen as a significant means of streamlining target identification & handoff, and therefore increasing operational tempo.
Connectivity with Battlefield Management Systems such as the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) means that PHOENIX systems can become an effective sensor node in the connected battlespace, and offer far greater utility than stand-alone systems. The potential to integrate / Interface with UAS / UGS offers great potential, along with sufficient architecture / processing headroom to incorporate auto target detection / identification / tracking capabilities.
DRAGON S (Sniper) is an Uncooled In-line Thermal Weapon Sight providing 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 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.
MERLIN LR2 is an Image Intensified In-Line weapon sight that 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, 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 0.50 Calibre.
TALON is a Lightweight and Compact Fused Weapon Sight, providing the Dismounted Warfighter with an enhanced, multi waveband Detect, Recognize & Identify capability TALON 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. TALON 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 Excelitas has developed the capabilities to provide the 21st Century connected Warfighter with the ability to out think, out smart, and out fight any aggressive force they may encounter, through the use of high performance, connected Visual Augmentation systems. We can provide ITAR free solutions, whilst utilising the latest in sensor and display technologies, without compromising performance. Whatever the requirement, we stand ready to support our armed forces with the latest mission critical equipment.
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