The Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted sight and display (HMSD) has been deployed on the battlefield aboard the United States Marine Corps Y-model Huey helicopter in Afghanistan and the French Tiger helicopter in Afghanistan and Libya. On a daily basis, the TopOwl system is demonstrating its operational benefits and its ability to increase mission success rates.
“Recent conflicts have underscored the key role played by helicopters in supporting ground forces on their missions. TopOwl has been deployed in Afghanistan since 2009, and French Tiger helicopter crews view the system as their “cat’s eyes”, enabling recurrent night operations and extending the capabilities of the Tiger weapon system” said Yves Joannic, Vice-president of Thales’s helicopter activities.
In Libya, helicopters were deployed without ground forces. For more than four months, all offensive missions were conducted from a naval platform at night, in total darkness. The TopOwl-equipped Tiger was a major component in these operations, working closely with other helicopters deployed on night missions to destroy large numbers of targets with a broad range of weapon systems.
TopOwl is currently the most advanced HMSD available on the market.
TopOwl provides the pilot with the best environmental vision capabilities, with unique visor-projected intensified night vision and unmatched comfort of use.
The system displays images from any onboard sensors, such as an HD FLIR, in front of the pilot’s eyes. TopOwl features a very high-accuracy head-tracking system to slave any type of weapon or sensor.
TopOwl is perfectly balanced, providing the highest levels of comfort and thereby reducing pilot fatigue and improving performance and safety on long and repetitive missions.
Designed by pilots, for pilots
Thales has been working closely with end users around the world to identify their real needs and test the solutions needed to deliver the technical solution that fulfills their operational mission requirements.
With TopOwl’s I2T technology (Image Intensifier Tubes) and high-definition capability, pilots can easily switch between infrared and light intensification, infrared and daytime, and light intensification and daytime vision modes, while simultaneously viewing superimposed flight or weapon system symbology.
TopOwl is the only binocular HMSD in full-scale production, with production commitments of more than 1,600 systems for 16 nations. More than 1,000 systems have been already delivered.