Thales announced on February 11 that together with the Tiger and Huey UH-1Y helicopters, its TopOwl® Helmet Mounted Sight & Display system (HMSD) has been deployed with the French and US Forces in Afghanistan, to provide high levels of night vision performance and targeting capabilities for helicopter pilots.
14th Mar 2011
Thales announced on February 11 that together with the Tiger
and Huey UH-1Y helicopters, its TopOwl® Helmet Mounted Sight & Display system (HMSD)
has been deployed with the French and US Forces in Afghanistan, to provide high levels of
night vision performance and targeting capabilities for helicopter pilots.
TopOwl® is already installed and fully operational on five major helicopter programmes:
Tiger, NH90, Cobra AH-1Z, Huey UH-1Y and Rooivalk. An additional programme, the T129,
is in progress. TopOwl® has been chosen by 16 countries for their army, navy and/or air force
attack and transport helicopters.
The combat-proven Thales TopOwl HMSD has been involved in bringing major operational
benefits to helicopter crews. TopOwl is the only Helmet Mounted Sight and Display system
offering both conformal piloting symbology, dark night vision performance and accurate
targeting together with an unmatched level of comfort and fatigue reduction - key for war
missions and the high levels of stress involved.
TopOwl night vision performance provides “level 5,” visibility equivalent to a cloudy night with
no moon, no peripheral light source and no starlight. With its exclusive architecture featuring
the projection of intensified images directly onto the helmet visor, TopOwl offers a seamless
transition between head-up piloting and head-down instrument monitoring, together with a
well balanced centre of gravity, eliminating the pilot fatigue generated by standard night
Yves Joannic, Thales Vice President, Helicopter Avionics activities commented, “Thales is
constantly working towards improving its products and systems. We integrate essential pilot
feedback and build on existing technologies to provide greater levels of performance that will
better support troops in theatre.”
TopOwl is also capable of switching directly from intensified image projection to high-
resolution infrared image projection, via a simple click. It thereby meets increasingly rigorous
demands for improved visibility and safe flight operations in degraded visual environments
such as brownout, whiteout and nighttime flying.
Aimed at improving crew comfort and efficiency, TopOwl HMSD now features a new internal
liner with new 3D fabric and an improved internal design. The helmet provides a recognised,
perfect fit and accurate targeting performance, while improving cooling characteristics, which
is vital for pilot comfort in hot conditions.