Thales TopOwl deployed with both French and US forces in Afghanistan

Thales TopOwl deployed with both French and US forces in Afghanistan 9 Feb, 11, Source: Thales

Bangalore, India, February 9, 2011 – Thales today announced that together with the Tiger and Huey UH-1Y helicopters, its TopOwl® Helmet Mounted Sight & Display system (HMSD) has been deployed with the French and US Forces in Afghanistan, to provide high levels of night vision performance and targeting capabilities for helicopter pilots.

TopOwl® is already installed and fully operational on five major helicopter programmes: Tiger, NH90, Cobra AH-1Z, Huey UH-1Y and Rooivalk. An additional programme, the T129, is in progress. TopOwl® has been chosen by 16 countries for their army, navy and/or air force attack and transport helicopters.

The combat-proven Thales TopOwl HMSD has been involved in bringing major operational benefits to helicopter crews. TopOwl is the only Helmet Mounted Sight and Display system offering both conformal piloting symbology, dark night vision performance and accurate targeting together with an unmatched level of comfort and fatigue reduction – key for war missions and the high levels of stress involved.

TopOwl night vision performance provides “level 5,” visibility equivalent to a cloudy night with no moon, no peripheral light source and no starlight. With its exclusive architecture featuring the projection of intensified images directly onto the helmet visor, TopOwl offers a seamless transition between head-up piloting and head-down instrument monitoring, together with a well balanced centre of gravity, eliminating the pilot fatigue generated by standard night vision goggles.

Yves Joannic, Thales Vice President, Helicopter Avionics activities commented,“Thales is constantly working towards improving its products and systems. We integrate essential pilot feedback and build on existing technologies to provide greater levels of performance that will better support troops in theatre.”

TopOwl is also capable of switching directly from intensified image projection to highresolution infrared image projection, via a simple click. It thereby meets increasingly rigorous demands for improved visibility and safe flight operations in degraded visual environments such as brownout, whiteout and nighttime flying.

Aimed at improving crew comfort and efficiency, TopOwl HMSD now features a new internal liner with new 3D fabric and an improved internal design. The helmet provides a recognised, perfect fit and accurate targeting performance, while improving cooling characteristics, which is vital for pilot comfort in hot conditions.

The Thales TopOwl® Helmet Mounted Sight and Display is based on a unique concept incorporating a night vision system with a 100% overlapped projection of a binocular image on the visor. Standard symbology is used to display flight and weapon management data, helping to reduce crew workload. TopOwl®’s head position sensor, used during target designation and weapon firing sequences, enhances operational effectiveness. Pilots particularly appreciate the low weight and perfect balance of the ergonomically designed helmet sight.TopOwl is in full-scale production and currently over 700 helmets have been delivered. More than 1,600 systems will be in service over the next 10 years.

About Thales
Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2009, the company generated revenues of €12.9 billion with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners. www.thalesgroup.com

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