Hensoldt South Africa executing Argos II contract for German police


Hensoldt South Africa, through its Optronics division, will later this year deliver two Argos II electro-optical systems for German police helicopters.

Hensoldt on 12 January said the helicopters of the Thuringia State Police would be fitted with the Argos II systems and redelivered in November.

Hensoldt Optronics is the prime contractor and will deliver the systems directly to the customer. “We are offering a turnkey solution here and are assuming responsibility for the entire project,” said Martin Kress, Head of Airborne Sensors & Missile Warning Systems at Hensoldt Optronics.

Hensoldt Optronics has contracted Intercopter GmbH in Taufkirchen for the integration. Together with its subsidiary Advanced Aerospace Developments GmbH, Intercopter is carrying out the development of the supplementary type certificate (STC), the production of the integration kit, the helicopter integration, the flight tests and the certification of the Argos II on the two EC145 (BK117-C2) helicopters of the Thuringian State Police.

In addition to the Thuringia State Police, the German Federal Police has also recently started using the Argos II in its helicopters. Hensoldt’s Airborne Service Centre in Oberkochen takes care of the long-term and sustainable maintenance of the Argos for its customers.

The Argos II airborne electro-optical system is designed for installation on helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for surveillance missions. The stabilised system is composed of a number of sensors and electronics in a single interchangeable unit. These include a high-definition (HD) MWIR thermal imaging camera with continuous zoom and a unique HD multispectral TV zoom camera. A SWIR spotter camera provides additional multispectral capabilities, especially under harsh conditions with low visibility. The near-infrared (NIR) laser pointer improves the system’s operational efficiency.

The Argos II system can also be equipped with a dual-wavelength, high-power, low-divergence laser designator/distance detector (LDR). The LDR has selectable target designation and eye-safe range finding modes and also includes a training mode.