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Safran at SOFINS 2017: products and services tailored for special forces


At SOFINS 2017 – Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar – Safran Electronics & Defense is showcasing an extensive range of systems and equipment designed to meet the full spectrum of special forces needs for land, maritime and air-land operations. Safran offers state-of-the-art optronics, navigation and terrestrial and airborne robotics solutions, and also teams up with innovative small businesses in France to provide key intelligence, protection, mobility and threat engagement functions. The following Safran products will be in the spotlight at SOFINS 2017.

JIM Compact, the new-generation multifunction infrared binoculars

Safran’s JIM Compact is a new-generation optronic (electro-optical) system. At SOFINS 2017 it is being presented in a demonstration with a dismounted unit in a typical special forces configuration. Because of its open architecture, it is easily integrated with the Cilas DHY208 laser designator, and the Sterna geographic north seeker from Safran. This configuration enables laser target designation based on coordinates.

Light and robust (less than 2 kg with batteries), JIM Compact features intuitive ergonomics, designed for front-line engagement day or night. It includes daytime and cooled infrared sensors, as well as a third channel for low light levels. It has a panoply of devices for high-precision positioning: rangefinder, laser pointer, magnetic compass and GPS. It is also fitted with transmission and remote-control modules (via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi), along with shared video streaming. JIM Compact allows the display of laser designators and pointers without requiring any additional equipment.

Integrated in the digital battlespace, Safran’s JIM family of infrared binoculars operates as the multifunction optronic core for tactical intelligence systems and equipment used across the whole spectrum of defense and security missions.

More than 9,000 JIM binoculars are already in service or under order in more than 40 countries.

eRider, an autonomous, multi-mission tactical vehicle

Safran Electronics & Defense has developed a concept for a light, agile and low-observability hybrid all-terrain vehicle. It features a modular design, with two or four-seat layouts for instance. It can be driven in conventional fashion, or operated in partial or full autonomous mode. To develop these autonomous functions, Safran Electronics & Defense drew on its expertise in all-weather vision, inertial navigation, embedded electronics and mission planning, along with systems integration skills developed on drones such as the Patroller over the last 25 years. The company set up efficient partnership with both major multinationals, like the auto parts giant Valeo, and with small businesses, to drive the flexible development of the eRider concept. The goal now is to test, along with customers, the concrete potential and operational value of this type of vehicle, which features reconfigurable and adjustable autonomy functions. The aim is also to project its possible use within a collaborative scenario combining dismounted soldiers and mini-drones. In addition, Safran and its partners will be analyzing a gradual, realistic introduction of new capabilities that could lead to disruptive operational scenarios. In 2017, the eRider will undergo a technical-operational evaluation with the participation of the DGA, the French defense procurement agency.

Patroller™ tactical drone: an advanced sensor platform

In 2016, the French MoD chose Safran’s Patroller as its tactical drone system. The very high resolution of its optronic sensors (Euroflir 410) and easy integration in tactical networks make the Patroller a highly capable system that provides an array of sensors for intelligence, land operations, the deployment of support strikes and special missions. The Patroller can directly transmit geo-referenced images to a ground network and portable terminals such as the RVT (Remote Video Terminal). It offers long endurance, more than 20 hours, and can carry a multi-sensor payload weighing up to 250 kg.

Euroflir optronic systems for air-mobility and maritime missions

Safran develops and produces the Euroflir range of gyrostabilized optronic pods for air mobility and maritime missions, deployed on helicopters, drones and surveillance aircraft. Integrated in the aircraft’s mission system, Euroflir pods are deployed in ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) missions for the precise identification and location of targets, day or night. Euroflir systems are already deployed on the French navy’s Panther Mk II, and France’s NH90 Caiman and Caracal helicopters. The family is continually upgraded to improve its observation capabilities, even under the harshest weather conditions. The Euroflir 410 model features very-high-resolution optronic sensors, allowing target identification at standoff range, making it perfectly suited to the missions assigned to special forces (Combat SAR, counter-terrorism, exfiltration of commandos, etc.).

NeoFelis, Safran’s new integrated digital system for dismounted warfighters

Based on the industrial and technological expertise built up through the FELIN soldier modernization program for the French army, Safran has developed the NeoFelis system for armies in international markets. NeoFelis is a new digital equipment suite for dismounted warfighters. Featuring a modular and open architecture, it comprises different kits offering key functions for infantry combat: command, observation, protection and engagement.

Vigy Engage, a shipborne optronic system

Vigy Engage, a light, compact turret with optronic sensors, combines the robustness, image quality, user-friendly interfaces and easy integration capabilities needed to meet the needs of the fast rescue craft and other high-speed boats deployed by special forces. Operated from a touch terminal, Vigy Engage incorporates a cooled infrared imager, video channels and a laser rangefinder. It can also be used as a fire control system for light weapons. Calling on advanced stabilization techniques, this system provides sharp images, day or night, even in rough seas and at speeds exceeding 50 knots! Vigy systems are already in production for use on the fast rescue craft deployed by several navies in international markets.