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).
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, emphasizes the importance of addressing customer requirements rapidly, with the right partner.”
“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.