Thales again bags Indian Army’s order for thermal imagers

February 16th, 2008 - 9:24 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) French defence major Thales has received a repeat order for 400 thermal imagers for the Indian Army’s T-90 main battle tank (MBT) taking to 1,000 the number of such devices it will supply to the Russian builder of the vehicle. “The deal was signed 10 days ago,” Francois Dupont, corporate country director of Thales India Private Ltd, announced Saturday on the sidelines of the ongoing DEFEXPO-2008 international defence exposition.

“Certification of the Catherine FC (thermal imagers) by (Russian defence equipment company) Rosoboronexport and the creation of Thales India Private Ltd as a local maintenance facility were decisive factors in this success,” Dupont added.

“This growing relationship places Thales as the main partner pf the Russian industry within the optronics field,” the official maintained.

According to Dupont, the deployment of the Catherine FC on the T-90 “is the result of close cooperation and highly complementary industry know-how of the two partners”.

“We’re proud to have the opportunity to work with such a demanding customer as the Indian Army,” said Francois Hubert-Habart, sales director for Asia for Thales’ land and joint systems.

“Cooperation between us is excellent. The difficulties we encountered at the outset were quickly resolved by getting the right structure in place - particularly a maintenance facility in India that guarantees extremely fast and efficient service.

“This new facility is also a prime illustration of or commitment to develop a growing long-term relationship with the Indian Army,” Hubert-Habart added.

In operational service with more than 10 countries around the world, the Catherine FC incorporates a long-wave infrared detector (LWI) that is a proven solution for the battlefield environment.

This technology provides an effective day/night vision capability and can also see through dust, rain and smoke while remaining largely impervious to the dazzling effects of sunlight and explosions.

For this reason, virtually all tank fire control systems in use today use LWI sensors.

Globally, Thales employs 22,000 R&D engineers out of a total workforce of 68,000 employees in 50 countries with 2007 revenues forecast in excess of 12 billion euros.

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