New Hensoldt electro-optical system debuts in Saudi Arabia

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The latest addition to the Hensoldt electro-optical portfolio – the Bushbaby 100 – made its public debut at this week’s World Defence Show (WDS) in Saudi Arabia.

It is billed as an advanced electro-optical system for land-based surveillance, with medium-range multi-sensor surveillance capabilities for a range of applications in the defence, security and civil sectors.

Bushbaby 100 is a compact, rugged, medium-range multi-sensor system for stabilised surveillance and target geo-location, Hensoldt South Africa said.

“The modern defence and security landscape has shown us that a solution like this is the ideal choice – an advanced, yet flexible solution that can be easily deployed on a range of platforms for agile use,” said Chris Haines, Head of Sales of Hensoldt’s Optronics business in South Africa.

Designed for day and night observation applications, the system offers a field-swappable sensor-module for various applications. In standard configuration it provides a video feed from a 4K electro-optical sensor along with a compact MWIR (medium wavelength infrared) sensor and optional laser rangefinder. The system has a continuous 360-degree azimuth and -45° to +95° elevation range.

The onboard real-time video processor provides image enhancement of all sensors, image fusion of daylight and infrared cameras into a single video stream, image stabilisation, scene steering and target tracking.

This Bushbaby 100 is aimed at a variety of industries and organisations, including security and policing agencies, border control authorities, mining companies, military forces and commercial vehicle operators. It can be used in fixed or mobile installations, including armoured vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, patrol vehicles and commercial vehicles.

The first iteration of the Bushbaby was revealed in 2020. The system is non-ITAR, like the majority of Hensoldt South Africa’s products. It complements the company’s other surveillance capabilities, including radar and electro-optical sensors. Hensoldt South Africa’s combined radar and electro-optical surveillance system is, for example, protecting nearly two thousand rhinos in the world’s largest rhino conservancy.

At the World Defence Show, Hensoldt South Africa is showcasing a wide range of its products to the region. The company provides a range of sensor solutions in the Middle East, ranging from large-scale solutions such as TEWS spectrum dominance and SkyManager spectrum management solutions, to more tactical solutions such as the GMJ9 force protection jammer and the SAS2000 for signals intelligence. Hensoldt South Africa is also offering its ASTUS unmanned aerial vehicle and Argos gimbal for aerial surveillance, Quadome 3D surface and surveillance radar, IFF, and datalink solutions.

“Hensoldt South Africa’s expertise in the design, manufacturing and maintenance of defence and security solutions has earned the trust of military and commercial authorities in the Middle East,” said Rynier van der Watt, Managing Director of Hensoldt SA, leading the company to establish regional sales and marketing offices in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“While exporting its solutions to over 45 countries globally, the Middle East holds strategic importance for Hensoldt SA,” the company said. “At WDS 2024, collaboration agreements with INTRA Defence Technologies, SCOPA Military Industries and STIRA Strategic Systems solidify Hensoldt SA’s role in developing next-generation electro-optic systems and spectrum dominance solutions for the defence, security and civilian market in Saudi Arabia.”