Hensoldt launches new EO system, laser range finders


Hensoldt South Africa launched a new light-weight electro optical system and laser range finders for use on small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition.

The Argos-8 is an 8-inch-class electro-optical system weighing less than 6 kg. It offers day and night capabilities for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

The MP10-1 laser range finder can fit into the palm of a hand and can be mounted on light weight UAVs or used with multi-sensor land-based imaging systems.

The Argos-8 airborne surveillance and targeting system was jointly developed with Estonian company Threod Systems, which focuses on UAV systems. Hensoldt and Threod have a development and co-production agreement for the Argos-8.

The MP10-1 laser range finder can be used for targets up to 15 kilometres away, with an accuracy better than a metre. It is a self-contained unit consisting of laser transmitter, laser receiver and power and control electronics needed to operate the laser range finger. Hensoldt plans to begin production in South Africa in the first quarter of next year.

For shorter ranging requirements and mounting in a smaller space, Hensoldt unveiled the NP1 laser range finder on the first day of AAD 2022 (21 September). It can reach a vehicle size target over three kilometres away (maximym range is up to 6 km). Production of the NP1 for international customers began in South Africa a few months ago.


These electro optical systems and laser range finders can be integrated into Hensoldt’s ASTUs unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). ASTUS has an endurance of eight hours and is certified to fly up to 16 000 feet.

The UAV is designed to meet the requirements of African and other countries that lack budgets for high-end solutions. The ASTUS UAV is the result of the capability Hensoldt obtained from the purchase of local defence company, Tellumat.

Hensoldt South Africa is the German defence company’s largest industrial footprint outside its home country. It produces solutions for electronic warfare and optronics, spectrum monitoring and security solutions, including radar, identification friend or foe and datalinks.

Hensoldt South Africa developed a wide range of products over the years. Its location in South Africa means local products are not subject to US and European export regulations.