The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


TopOwl confirmed as the main mission and piloting equipment for helicopter crews

02 September 2009

Neuilly-sur-Seine, 2 September 2009 – TopOwl®, the Helmet Mounted Sight Display from Thales, is confirmed as the main advanced mission and piloting equipment available to date, combat proven onboard transport and attack helicopters in current theatres of operations.

In order to meet the increasingly demanding needs of operational crews and to provide safe flight operations in difficult visual environments such as brownout and whiteout, since the beginning of 2009, TopOwl® has participated successfully in a series of demanding flight tests. For these flight tests, TopOwl® is connected to the latest technology sensors such as High resolution FLIR.

TopOwl® enables pilots to display high resolution FLIR and high performance night vision images right in front of their eyes, and to switch easily and instantaneously between both.

Most of the flight tests were conducted in USA, Canada and Australia onboard:
- Black Hawk & Huey with Lockheed Martin (USA)
- Huey with United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) (USA), National Research Council (NRC) (Canada) and Defence Science & Technology Organization (DSTO) (Australia)

These tests successfully demonstrated that TopOwl® enables pilots to fly “head-up and eyesout” by day or night in extreme conditions.

Flight tests are currently underway on the Apache with the Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) (USA) with day and night first flight test phase completed.

The Thales Helmet Mounted Sight and Display is based on a unique concept incorporating a night vision system with a 100% overlapped projection of a binocular image on the visor. Standard symbology is used to display flight and weapon management data, helping to reduce crew workload. TopOwl®’s head position sensor, used during target designation and weapon firing sequences, enhances operational effectiveness. Pilots particularly appreciate the low weight and perfect balance of the ergonomically designed helmet sight.

TopOwl® is already installed and ffully operational on 5 major helicopter programmes: Tiger, NH90, Cobra AH-1Z, Huey UH-1Y and Rooivalk. It is in full-scale production and currently over 700 helmets have been delivered. More than 1,500 systems will be in service over the next 10 years. It has been chosen by 15 countries for their army, navy and/or air force attack and transport helicopters.

Thales is displaying its TopOwl® Helmet Mounted Sight Display on stand 955 at the DSEi show in London from 8 – 11 September 2009.

About Thales
Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Space, Defence, Security and Transportation markets. In 2008, the company generated revenues of 12.7 billion euros with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

Press Contacts

Natasha Harvey
+ 33 1 34 81 40 50
+ 33 6 74 94 23 81

Kathryn Bell
Thales UK
Mob: +44 7813 903274

Join the mailing list