Rockwell selects Thales optronics for ADF fire support programme

13 July 2012 (Last Updated July 13th, 2012 03:45)

Rockwell Collins Australia has awarded a contract to Thales for the supply of its advanced optronics systems for the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) Land 17 digital terminal control systems (DTCS) programme.

Land 17 Digital Terminal

Rockwell Collins Australia has awarded a contract to Thales for the supply of its advanced optronics systems for the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) Land 17 digital terminal control systems (DTCS) programme.

Under the terms of the contract, the company will supply an undisclosed number of its Sophie MF long range multi-function binoculars / thermal imagers and TYR laser target designators to Rockwell, which will be used to help enhance the coordination and terminal control of land, air and naval fire support.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said that the company has worked closely with Rockwell Collins to offer an advanced solution, to enable ADF to enhance its offensive support systems to provide greater tactical flexibility and precision targeting capability.

''The Sophie family of thermal imagers is used around the world, and we have recently upgraded our optronics facilities in Australia to offer an extensive and responsive local support capability for both thermal and laser equipment,'' Jenkins added.

According to Thales Australia, the optronics sensors will be integrated into Rockwell Collins's Firestorm joint fires targeting system to provide ADF with a complete turnkey solution.

“The Sophie family of thermal imagers is used around the world, and we have recently upgraded our optronics facilities in Australia to offer an extensive and responsive local support capability for both thermal and laser equipment.”

Weighing less than 3kg, the Sophie MF is engineered to provide accurate detection and localisation of threats in low-visibility conditions in the battlefield.

The sensor is equipped with a high-resolution stabilised imager, an eye-safe laser rangefinder, GPS and direction finder; it is not detectable as it uses passive infrared technology.

Thales TYR is a fully-integrated designator imager and rangefinder capable of facilitating accurate deployment of laser guided munitions, by providing images of the laser spot on the target, minimising collateral damage and enhancing mission success.
More than 300 Sophies and a significant number of TYR sensors are currently used by the ADF personnel for combat operations.

Rockwell Collins has been awarded a $68m contract, for the supply of a total of 152 DTCS systems to ADF in June 2012.


Image: The Sophie MF long range multi-function thermal imager. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.