HENSOLDT South Africa launched the latest addition to its range of airborne electro-optical systems, the ARGOS-8. The sensor solutions house signed an agreement with THREOD Systems to cooperate in joint development and future co-production of the ARGOS-8 airborne electro-optical system (EOS).
HENSOLDT South Africa is exhibiting its solutions at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo 2022, where it is launching the new ARGOS-8 to the airborne defence and security market on the show’s opening day.
Based on the international sales success of the ARGOS-II, a 15-inch-class airborne EOS, HENSOLDT is expanding its range of airborne products to offer solutions in new size and volume segments. With a view of entering the smaller and lighter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market, the ARGOS-8 is an 8-inch-class EOS with a mass below 6 kg. Using HENSOLDT’s niche laser products, the ARGOS-8 is, like the larger EO systems, equipped with a laser designator and range-finder capability. The visible day and cooled infra-red sensors offer day and night operation for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), as well as intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.
The ARGOS-8 is based on complementary technologies residing within the two companies, allowing a very short time-to-market of a new product based on mature technologies. The requirement to accurately designate a target from a small UAV platform can be fulfilled with ARGOS-8, which has been designed to be an effective EOS for smaller tactical UAV systems, thereby enhancing and significantly expanding the capabilities of these platforms.
“ARGOS-8 is not only offered as a stand-alone EOS but is also integrated onto the ASTUS unmanned aerial system, with production deliveries scheduled for 2023,” explained HENSOLDT Optronics’ Chief Executive, Deon Olivier.
“Our co-operation with THREOD, an agile company with experience in designing and manufacturing smaller UAV platforms and EOS systems, emphasises the importance of addressing customer requirements rapidly, with the right partner,” he added.
“The co-operation with HENSOLDT and the integration of world-class technologies in this new product will open markets for Threod not previously accessible,” said Arno Vaik, CEO of THREOD Systems.
HENSOLDT South Africa is a pioneer of technology and innovation in defence and security electronics. The company offers a comprehensive range of products, systems and services across defence and civil markets, from electronic warfare and optronics, spectrum monitoring and security solutions, to radar, IFF and datalinks.
With more than 700 South African employees across five sites in South Africa, it is the HENSOLDT Group’s largest industrial base outside of Europe and one of the largest defence and security electronics companies in South Africa.
THREOD is an Estonian company based in Tallinn specialising in the development, production and operation of small, unmanned aircraft systems. In the aircraft segment, the company is an expert in hybrid systems - fixed-wing electrical aircraft with the ability of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The company also design its own gimbal range and has in its product portfolio a universal pneumatic launcher capable to launch a broad range of UAV’s from other manufacturers.