The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) awarded Photonis Technologies an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide state-of-the-art image intensifier (I2) tubes for up to 10,000 night vision bi-oculars by Thales.
“Photonis is proud to deliver its unrivalled technology to the French Armed Forces and help safeguard their night operations,” said Frederic Guilhem, Executive Commercial Officer Night Vision at Photonis.
Photonis' 4G high figure of merit (FOM) I2 tubes in Thales' new bi-oculars will increase manoeuverability and operations at night for French Armed Forces. This technology will increase the ability to locate and engage threats and to operate in all night conditions. The 4G standard is the latest technology in intensified night vision. 4G is specifically designed to address the stringent requirements of Special Forces operators (SOF) and can offer ultra-fast Auto-Gating, with very small halos and tremendous spectral range from ultraviolet to near infrared.
The company sought a breakthrough to advance its existing systems and looked at all the technology inside I2. As a result, Photonis developed the four criteria to change everything inside, giving the developer the broad opportunity to start from scratch 4G performance specification features spectral sensitivity from below 400nm to above 1000nm, a minimum figure-of-merit of FOM1,800, high light resolution higher than 57lp/mm and a halo size of less than 0.7 millimetres.
By implementing out-of-band capability, the I2 can now ‘see’ lasers that no-one else can see on the battlefield, as well as other light sources. This can help the soldier remain stealthy. For the figure of merit, which is how far objects can be seen in low light levels and at night, Photonis pushed everything: detection, identification, longer range and deeper in the visible vision, as well as super-fast Auto-Gated function that today avoid soldiers to be blinded by sudden changes of light such as explosions. SOF and Anti Terrorists Teams are very keen to get such products due to the very specific conditions in which they operate which are drastically different from regular soldier’s missions.