Abu Dhabi. HENSOLDT South Africa recently launched the latest addition to its range of airborne electro-optical systems, the ARGOS-8 and is further introducing it at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 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 IDEX, where it is introducing the latest addition to its gimbal family to key airborne defence and security markets 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 South Africa’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 that is based on mature technologies. The requirement to accurately designate an object from a small UAV platform can be fulfilled with ARGOS-8, which is designed as 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 standalone EOS, but is also integrated onto the ASTUS unmanned aerial system, with production deliveries scheduled for 2023,” explained Deon Olivier, the Chief Executive of the Optronics business unit of HENSOLDT South Africa. “Our cooperation 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.”