Today at the Paris Air Show, Safran Electronics & Defense is unveiling its new airborne Euroflir 410 NG optronic system for convoy tracking, human flow monitoring, ultra long range reconnaissance, sensitive area surveillance and so on. Designed principally for medium and heavy army helicopters such as the Caiman NH90 and the Caracal, it could also be used on the Tiger “given a few modifications needed because of the Tiger’s combat role,” said a member of the Safran team*. It is also suitable for medium remotely piloted air systems (RPAS). In fact, France has already ordered 16 of these new optronic systems to be delivered in 2018/19 for the Patroller RPAS.
Euroflir 410N G differs from the combat-proved Euroflir 410 in that it can carry up to 10 sensors in a single “ball”.
These sensors allow for multi-spectral and ultra long-range observation, day and night, in all weather, including low visibility, haze, mist, smoke. The system has accurate targeting capabilities, enhanced detection and identification capabilities and advanced embedded aid-to-decision capabilities.
The 10 sensors include a continuous wide-field-of-view TV sensor and a medium-wave infrared zoom, both to detect and recognise an object and/or person. To identify up to 10 km away whether or not a person is carrying a weapon there is a full high-definition TV spotter. Doing the same job but in low light there is a full high-definition high-resolution (HD HR) infrared (IR) spotter which gives a black & white image, and to see through cloud, smoke and sand storms (for example), there is a short wave infrared spotter. “This is very useful for life saving at sea or for firefighting”, a Safran manager* noted. The sixth sensor is a high-definition, high-resolution spotter to find very precise, identifying details when the TV spotter cannot do so. Then there is a laser telemeter, an eye-safe laser illuminator (which is like a torch but that can only be seen by night-vision systems), a pointer and a designator.
Included in the system are a moving map, augmented reality, a moving target indicator, hot spot detection, enhanced solution and fusion mode. The latter means, for example, that a soldier hidden in deep shade cannot be seen in the image provided by the TV sensor but when this image is fused with the one from the HD HR IR spotter then he can be clearly seen in colour.
The entire 28V system gets its electric power from the platform (helicopter, RPASt) it is attached to.
“It’s the synthesis of everything this company does best,” the manager said.
Above-all, the Euroflir 410 NG is ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) free and almost all the technologies contained in the optronic ball are developed in-house. “We tolerate European components,” said the manager “but the critical ones are ours.”
* for security reasons we’ve been asked to not reveal the names of the speakers.