France has awarded contract to Thales for HELIE night vision goggles

  • 12:00 AM, November 16, 2009
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The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded Thales Angénieux a contract to equip French Army helicopter pilots with HELIE night vision goggles. The contract relates to the supply of about 1 500 pairs of night vision goggles in several batches. The first production units will be delivered during 2011, followed by deliveries spread over the next five years. HELIE (HElicopter Light Intensifier Equipment) combines light weight, compactness and high performance to give safe flying and a high level of comfort for the pilot. Thales Angénieux funded the development of HELIE, which makes full use of all the company's optical and mechanical expertise to provide users with goggles that are among the lightest on the market and that are exceptionally bright. HELIE equipment collects 60% more light than traditional goggles and its optical performance allows level 5 (very dark) night flying in complete safety for the pilots. Recognised throughout the world for its expertise in the design and manufacture of optical systems, Thales Angénieux has already delivered more than 40,000 pairs of infantry goggles, half of them outside France. For Philippe Parain, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Thales Angénieux, "This new contract attests to Thales Angénieux’s leading position in the European night vision market. We are happy that the DGA decided to renew us its confidence". Indeed, in 2008, its MINIE goggles were selected for the French “Infantryman of the Future” programme designed to equip the French Army. At the start of 2009, the DGA selected the night vision device for the pilots of Rafale, Mirage and Super-Etendard fighters.