Safran Electronics & Defense is to provide Héli-Union with its new-generation EUROFLIR410 optronic observation system for the French Navy’s DAUPHIN N3 helicopters after a hard-fought international competition, the company announced on 13 May.

Héli-Union and DCI were jointly awarded a contract by the French armed forces last year covering the lease of a further 12 modified DAUPHIN N3, in addition to the four already in service. The aircraft will replace the ageing ALOUETTE III in naval service until the H160M GUÉPARD enters service – which is currently foreseen for 2028.

The new-generation EUROFLIR410 provides unrivalled observation capabilities under any conditions of visibility, in particular due to its very-long-range telescope and high-performance line-of-sight stabilisation. Capable of identifying a boat’s registration number or detecting a shipwreck victim at several kilometres, the device will boost operational capabilities. For example, the naval air arm will be able to carry out search and rescue (SAR) missions at sea, or monitor specific zones of interest, even under the harshest conditions. These new systems offer advanced features, such as automatic target tracking and a search for shipwreck victims by sweeping zones, thus considerably reducing operator workload.

Building on this and other recent business wins, Safran confirms its European technological leadership in the highly demanding optronics sector. The company’s EUROFLIR optronic systems are designed and built in France. The first Dauphin N3 fitted with a EUROFLIR410 will be delivered in the summer of 2021.

The first DAUPHIN N3 to be equipped with the Safran EUROFLIR410 will be delivered to the French Navy next year. (Photo: Safran)

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