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JIM Users’ Group: Safran Electronics & Defense capitalizes on user feedback to continuously improve its portable optronics systems


User experience is an invaluable source of information and helps us make sure that our products continue to meet evolving real-world requirements. The teams in charge of Safran Electronics & Defense’s portable optronics equipment therefore organize a meeting of these customers every two years. This year, the JIM Users’ Group met on September 23-25 in Annecy, where they enjoyed an unparalleled opportunity to discuss their missions and needs, while also sharing feedback.

ith advent of asymmetrical conflicts, armed forces today are regularly deployed to diverse theaters of operation for close combat missions. At the heart of these operations are the detection, identification and surveillance of enemy forces. Warfighters face a two-pronged challenge: see without being seen to maintain the element of surprise that ensures operational superiority; and avoid collateral damage and friendly fire in situations where the friend-foe distinction is not always crystal clear.

Day-night vision: an imperative for warfighters

The ultimate effectiveness of a combat unit depends on its grasp of the tactical situation. To really understand one’s surroundings demands information as accurate as possible, especially visual, under any conditions, day or night, in a degraded visual environment, etc. Armed forces therefore need multifunction binoculars as well as clip-ons such as infrared or image intensifier scopes that can be used with a wide range of night vision goggles (NVG) and weapons (assault or sharpshooter rifles, etc.). Safran offers a wide range of flexible solutions to meet the operational needs of warfighters, especially with its lines of multifunction infrared binoculars (JIM family and Moskito TI) and clip-on scopes and visual augmentation systems (Nite-Spot, E-COSI, E-COTI, etc.).


Precision target location: the prerequisite for all military operations

Designating a target for a strike, whether by missile, shell or rocket, means knowing its precise location. Safran’s Sterna north seeker, used in conjunction with binoculars, allows troops to determine the coordinates of a target without exposing themselves to danger, and with accuracy meeting the most stringent NATO standards.

Infantry soldier requirements

To keep infantry soldiers and special forces in a position of tactical superiority requires advanced equipment that delivers a quantifiable performance advantage. But the associated missions are still generally based on dismounted combat, which means that equipment has to be light, reliable and long-running, in addition to being adapted to the mission. There’s also the intensely stressful environment of dismounted combat: human-machine interfaces have to limit workload for warfighters who are already facing sensory overload.

SWAP+ from Safran, an initiative that addresses the requirements of dismounted combat 

Safran has launched a continuous improvement initiative dubbed SWAP+ to reduce equipment Size, Weight and Power (SWAP) consumption, while adding new functions, expanding the scope of use and improving ergonomic design. These enhancements will improve users’ tactical, cognitive and logistic performance.

Two-way communications with users is at the heart of Safran’s upgrade strategy for portable optronics

Safran has organized JIM Users' Group meetings every two years since 2010 to support the continuous improvement of its portable optronics, including multifunction binoculars, as well as all other equipment of this type made by Safran Electronics & Defense and its subsidiaries. These user meetings are designed to collect feedback from operations in the field, introduce new systems, functions and accessories, and present the company’s road map for this product line.

The meeting this year was held along the shores of Lake Annecy in the Upper Savoy region of southeastern France. Attended by 60 guests from 14 countries, the meeting spotlighted the sterling qualities of our binoculars, scopes and north seekers. Attendees included armies, special forces, police forces, border guards, governmental technical experts and industry partners that integrate our products in their systems. They were treated to dynamic demonstrations, product tests and workshops, where Safran teams could share their expertise and ask them what functions they’d like to see incorporated in the future.