Germany's Thuringia State Police has taken delivery of two Argos II electro-optical systems (EOS) from Hensoldt, a German developer of sensor solutions and avionics.
The Argos II airborne electro-optical system is designed for installation on helicopters, fixed- wing aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for surveillance missions. The stabilised system is composed of a number of sensors and electronics in a single interchangeable unit. These include a high-definition (HD) MWIR thermal imaging camera with continuous zoom and a unique HD multispectral TV zoom camera. A SWIR spotter camera provides additional multispectral capabilities, especially under harsh conditions with low visibility. The near-infrared (NIR) laser pointer improves the system's operational efficiency. The Argos II system can also be equipped with a dual-wavelength, high-power, low-divergence laser designator/distance detector (LDR). The LDR has selectable target designation and eye-safe range finding modes and also includes a training mode.
Hensoldt Optronics has contracted InterCopter GmbH, A German Part 145 in Taufkirchen for the integration. Together with its subsidiary Advanced Aerospace Developments GmbH, InterCopter is carrying out the development of the supplementary type certificate (STC), the production of the integration kit, the helicopter integration, the flight tests and the certification of the Argos II on the Thuringian State Police's two EC145 (BK117-C2) helicopters.
For Hensoldt, it is another important EOS contract with a delivery as first tier supplier and prime contractor directly to the customer. “We are offering a turnkey solution here and are assuming responsibility for the entire project until the return delivery of the helicopters with integrated and approved Argos II systems in November 2021,” says Martin Kress, head of airborne sensors and missile warning systems at Hensoldt Optronics.
In addition to the Thuringia State Police, the German Federal Police has also recently started using the Argos II from Hensoldt in its helicopters. Hensoldt's airborne service centre in Oberkochen takes care of the long-term and sustainable maintenance of the Argos for its customers.