Innovative new product for fighting vehicles comes into market


The Above Armour Panoramic Gunnery Sight meet the needs of infantry fighting vehicles, combat reconnaissance vehicles and armoured personnel carriers.

To meet the growing global need for stabilised panoramic sighting systems, Denel Vehicle Systems (DVS) has joined forces with Thales Optronique France to produce an innovative and versatile product.

The Above Armour Panoramic Gunnery Sight – AAGPS – meet the needs of infantry fighting vehicles, combat reconnaissance vehicles and armoured personnel carriers, says Johan Steyn, CEO of Denel Vehicle Systems.

The system will be on display next week at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition 2016 at the Air Force Base Waterkloof in Tshwane. The agreement signed between the two companies enables the partners to respond jointly to international requests for proposals for this type of product.

Steyn says the AAGPS integrates the KATE-LR sensor pack developed by Thales Optronique (TOSA) with Denel’s 2 axis stabilised gimbal into a single product. It offers panoramic surveillance and gunnery fire control during night and day.

It uses multiple optronics sensors and processors to identify and designate targets and then point an armoured vehicle’s weapons onto those targets.

AAGPS provides users with an optimum balance of sensor performance, size and weight to meet the needs of modern fighting vehicles, says Steyn. It combines mature subsystems and components from both companies through modular construction into an innovative new product that delivers configurability and high reliability.

Denel Mechatronics is a division within Denel Vehicle Systems with particular expertise in turret systems and subsystems. It also has an excellent track record in developing fire directing systems and fire control sub-systems for main battle tanks and the Rooivalk helicopter cannon turret. It is an existing supplier to the South African armed forces and various international customers.

Thales Optronique is a global technology leader in the aerospace, transport, defence and security markets. With over 22 000 engineers and researchers and a presence in 56 countries, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment and systems to meet the most complex security requirements.

Key features of the Above Armour Panoramic Gunnery Sight – AAPGS

* Designed to meet both gunnery fire control and surveillance requirements;
* High performance – can identify a tank at more than 3km in both night and day;
* Very compact – a 425mm swept diameter X 450mm height above armour;
* Continuous zoom mid-wave thermal imager;
* High-definition zoom day camera;
* Laser rangefinder and optional laser pointer;
* Continuous 360 degree azimuth rotation and high angle elevation;
* Simple to install and integrate with vehicle’s electronic architecture and fire control systems; and
* Modular design for configurability and ease of support and upgrades.