Hensoldt South Africa to supply submarine periscope to South American navy

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Hensoldt South Africa is supplying a SERO 250S submarine periscope to a Latin American navy as part of a follow-up order for a periscope modernisation programme.

The company said the SERO 250S periscope will replace a previously used periscope as part of a refit programme and provide a capability upgrade with night vision capability. The contract is worth more than five million euros and is the second order from the customer.

The two submarines of the Type 209 series were equipped with SERO 400 series periscopes, also manufactured by Hensoldt. The modernisation gives the equipped boats night vision capability for the first time and contributes significantly to digitalisation and extended service life, Hensoldt said.

“As a retrofit solution for the periscope previously used by the customer, the SERO 250S is ideal,” explained Andre Stascheit, Head of the Marine Business Unit at Hensoldt Optronics. “The variant of the periscope, which we will deliver in spring 2024, allows submarines to adapt more flexibly to changing operating conditions in all weather and light conditions.”

The SERO 250 is equipped with improved optics that include high-definition and low-level light cameras as standard. Night vision capability is provided by an additional infrared (IR) camera. The SERO 250S is additionally equipped with active laser and passive stadiametric (using a telescopic instrument) range finding. To facilitate integration, all SERO 250 variants can be operated as a stand-alone system or integrated into existing (or renewed) combat management systems. The SERO 250 is available in attack (250A) and surveillance (250S) versions.

In Latin America, the navies of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela operate Type 209 submarines

Hensoldt South Africa has a long history in the development and manufacturing of submarine periscopes and sub-systems. These activities commenced in 1990 with the upgrade of the SA Navy’s Daphne class submarine periscopes and the first export contract for the upgrade of Type 209 class submarines in 1997.

Hensoldt South Africa subsequently joined forces with Hensoldt Germany to develop and manufacture periscope systems and sub-systems for the international market, including the SERO 250. More than 60 periscope systems have been manufactured for delivery to the parent company in Germany, for supply to conventional submarines all over the world, including Greek, Portuguese, Turkish, and South Korean submarines.

Hensoldt supports and maintains the South African Navy’s submarine optronics systems, including its SERO 400 periscopes.