HENSOLDT Showcases Latest Optronic Technologies at Local Demonstration Event

Against the backdrop of Africa’s wildlife, HENSOLDT South Africa demonstrated the ASTUS unmanned aerial vehicle, the ARGOS-8 compact gimbal and the Bushbaby range of land-based imaging systems

Defence Industry

Irene, South Africa. HENSOLDT South Africa, a leading provider of high-performance sensors, showcased its latest electro-optical technologies during a successful live demonstration-event in Dinokeng nature reserve. The event featured an impressive display of the ASTUS unmanned aerial system (UAS), while highlighting the advanced capabilities of the  ARGOS-8 compact electro-optical system, as well as the Bushbaby range of land-based electro-optical systems. 

The event, attended by a notable international delegation, esteemed military attachés and local defence and security forces highlighted the global competitiveness of HENSOLDT South Africa’s technologies. “HENSOLDT South Africa leverages South African expertise to develop world-class solutions for the global market,” says Sihle Mayisela, Executive of Strategic Affairs for HENSOLDT South Africa.

HENSOLDT demonstrated these solutions against the backdrop of Africa’s wildlife. Guests were treated to an immersive experience during the event, donning HENSOLDT hats and embarking on safari-style tours between various demonstration sites, while catching glimpses of the local wildlife in the Dinokeng nature reserve.

The live demonstration of the ASTUS UAS highlighted its advanced capabilities as both as a platform and an integrated surveillance solution. As a sensor platform, the ASTUS is designed to protect critical infrastructure and high-value assets from the air, making it ideal for long-distance surveillance, border protection, environmental protection and training missions. The UAS has an endurance of 8 hours, is certified to fly up to 16 000 ft and has a range of up to 200 km line-of-sight (LOS).

“This is a system that multiplies the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies and security services,” says Chris Haines, Executive Manager: Marketing and Sales at HENSOLDT. “It can be a vital tool in campaigns against cable theft and vandalism against infrastructure. It provides a cost-effective solution for municipalities, state-owned entities and the private sector who want to safeguard their high-value assets.”

Designed as a sensor platform, the ASTUS can be equipped with smart electro-optical payloads such as HENSOLDT’s ARGOS-8.

Catering to the smaller and lighter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market, the ARGOS-8 is an 8-inch gimbal, weighing only 6 kg and equipped with laser-designator and range-finding capability. It’s 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.

HENSOLDT also showcased its electro-optical solutions for land-based operations. Ideal for a range of military and security applications, the Bushbaby range of cameras consists of long-range imaging systems for persistent surveillance, allowing the operator to identify and track intrusions, smugglers, terrorists, drones or any other conventional or asymmetric threats. The cameras incorporate several sensors, such as daylight HD sensors, mid-wave infrared HD sensors and short-wave infrared sensors. These multi-spectrum sensor suites can detect threats in ranges up to 30 km. Partnering with specialised vehicle providers, these sensor solutions can be easily integrated into a wide range of vehicles, including wheeled, tracked, armoured and civil vehicles, as well as legacy systems.

As with the majority of HENSOLDT South Africa’s products, these platforms and sensors complement the company’s other surveillance capabilities, including radar, signals intelligence and electro-optical sensors.