By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
October 21, 2021
Theon Sensors recently won a UK MOD (Ministry of Defence) contract for 500 of its Thermis CS Thermal Clip-On Sight (TCS) (12um) Thermal Imaging Systems for the MOD’s Sniper In-Line Low Light System (SILLS) – Long Wave InfraRed (LWIR) Thermal Sight “Weapon Sight 2” program. Now, 500 units may not seem like a big deal, but it’s likely just the tip of the thermal/IR (Infrared) combat optics iceberg, as thermal/IR optics/weapon sights represent the future of infantry warfare capabilities, including urban warfare capabilities–and not just for the Brits, oh no.
The US military also sees the importance and game-changing nature of thermal/IR optics, as do the Canadians, and the Israelis. In fact, DefenseReview (DR) recently published a piece on the Elbit Systems Assault Rifle Combat Application System (ARCAS), which is pretty impressive, and worth reading about.
“Theon Sensors is determined to empowering overmatch through its Thermal Imaging – Thermis [Thermal] Clip-On Sight (12um) solution for the UK operators,” says Theon Sensors 5EYES Armies Business Development and US operations director Michalis Kolotos.
And, according to Army Technology, “In June, a consortium of Hensoldt Optronics and Theon sensors received a contract from the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation Executive Administration (OCCAR-EA) to produce night vision goggles (NVG).”
Defense Review thinks this UK MOD contract is important, despite the relatively low-volume purpose, since we can see the combat-capability boost thermal/IR weapon sights represent, and that much larger contracts lay ahead. This is DR’s prediction.
The following information on the Thermis Thermal Clip-On Sight comes directly from Theon Sensors’ website:
– Three variants to meet mission requirements: Medium (MR), Long (LR) and Extra Long (ELR) Range
– Proven uncooled IR sensor technology for superior image quality
– Intuitive User control
– Built-in Digital Compass & Inclinometer
– State Of the Art Image Enhancement Algorithms
– Video capture
– Image Capture and Storage
– Energy Efficient (> 10 hours) Quick Start-up (< 3 seconds)
– Power Supply: 4 AA Batteries in Rapid change, cartridge-style tactical power packs
– Ruggedized military design
THEON SENSORS’ THERMÍS family of uncooled Thermal Clip-on Sights (TCS) was developed to provide soldiers with an unrivaled day/night advantage in detecting, observing and engaging hostile targets, independent of darkness and common obscurants used for visual concealment. The clip-on sights are designed for use in tandem with medium or long range day sights to provide targeting at night, while maintaining the day optic’s ballistic zeroing.
The THERMÍS family of Clip-on sights incorporate the latest IR sensor, electronics and optical technologies to deliver world leading performance and reliability. All variants generate superior IR imagery, ensuring target recognition at the maximum possible range. Optimally-sized rear optics, retain day optics eye box, ensuring user comfort.
Tailored engine design is coupled with intuitive user interface to deliver maximum range performance. Optimized control of the image processing and region-of- interest settings result in enhanced user experience. Local contrast enhancement delivers superior image quality.
The built in digital compass and inclinometer provide range estimation and target orientation.
The THERMÍS MR is suitable for either short-range rifles (i.e. M16, M4, AK-47 etc.) or medium machine guns (i.e. M16, M4, AK-47, FN Minimi, MG3 etc.), while the LR / ELR clip-on models for the squad leader’s weapon, Sniper Rifles, and Heavy Machine guns (i.e. M2 HB, MK19 etc.).”
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