FLIR Systems showcases new thermal imager at Huntex


FLIR Systems has for the first time showcased its new Scout TK thermal vision monocular and Scout II 640 in South Africa.

The products were on display at the Huntex exhibition at Gallagher Estate, which ran from 14-17 April.

Jason Mann, PVS Distribution Manager – Western Europe at FLIR Systems, told defenceWeb that the Scout TK was displayed in prototype form in January but the product has been finished and deliveries of thousands of units will begin next month to distributors and other customers.

Mann said the Scout TK is attractive due to its low cost, tough build quality, and imaging range suitable for outdoor use. It also has almost no direct competition. He said its main customers would likely be farmers, game farmers, sport shooters, police and security agencies.

FLIR said the Scout TK thermal vision monocular is the smallest and lightest camera in the FLIR Scout series, and was developed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts. With more than five hours of battery life, the Scout TK detects body heat of people and animals from a distance up to 130 meters away. It has a recommended retail price of €533/£414/$599.

The FLIR Scout II, also promoted at Huntex 2016, is another series of three small tough handheld thermal night vision cameras that can detect the heat signatures of animals and people, ranging from 350 metres, 550 metres and 1200 metres away, depending on model. The Scout II series are used by the same customers as the Scout TK, but particularly where the longer distances are needed for security, hunting and surveillance.

FLIR Systems told defenceWeb that the biggest growing market for FLIR is security, especially residential perimeter security. For instance, Waterfall Estate in Midrand recently ordered FLIR cameras for its security requirements.

FLIR’s airborne range, the Star SAFIRE series thermal imaging turret is very popular while portable long range thermal imaging systems are widely used for border control.

FLIR says its system are used for a wide variety of thermal imaging, situational awareness, and security applications, including airborne and ground-based surveillance, condition monitoring, navigation, recreation, research and development, manufacturing process control, search and rescue, drug interdiction, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) threat detection.

FLIR has just launched three new products aimed at the firefighting market. The KF6 is designed for aerial ladders and to detect hot spots within smoky areas, while the K33 and K53 handheld cameras join the K-Series thermal imagers to provide firefighters with the ability to better see through smoke, identify hotspots, rescue victims more easily and navigate through smoky areas.

FLIR has also developed a stabilised thermal camera for use aboard unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and is distributing the DJI Zenmuse XT with the DJI Inspire 1 unmanned aerial vehicle. FLIR said it will distribute two configurations of the FLIR Aerial First Responder Kit, Basic or Advanced, to bring UAV-powered thermal imaging to firefighters, emergency response teams, and search and rescue (SAR) operations.

FLIR has local distributors in South Africa and one of them, Desert Wolf, last week commissioned the Durban Ports Authority’s new FLIR HRC (high-resolution, cooled) camera system, which is integrated with the ports control radar system.

FLIR is reluctant to discuss its military activities in Africa due to non-disclosure agreements, but has delivered equipment to various countries on the continent.

Last month the company announced it was awarded a contract worth $38 million by a major international military customer. Per the contract, FLIR Systems will be responsible for the delivery of man-portable multispectral targeting systems, integrated mobile long-range multispectral imaging, command and control systems to its client. The systems will be used to combat terrorism, secure strategic military assets, and protect borders against incursions and other threats. A number of facilities will execute the delivery work, which is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2017.