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G&H wins £4.1 million periscope contract for UK’s Challenger 3 Battle Tank...

30 Sep 2022

...and Kopin announces $3 million first order for new AR-enabled weapon sight module.

Rheinmetall Electronics UK (REUK) has awarded a £4.1M ($4.6M) Challenger 3 contract to G&H for the supply of a custom specific variant of the Embedded Image Periscope (EIP) for integration into the tank’s Trailblazer Driver Vision System.

The contract is for the supply of the periscope technology as part of the UK’s Challenger 3 program to upgrade the British Army’s main battle tanks. Challenger 3 is a new main battle tank being developed by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), a joint venture between UK-based BAE Systems and Germany-based Rheinmetall.

The EIP, part of G&H’s Kent defense brand, has an adapted user interface designed for the Challenger 3 driver compartment. The product has been specially configured to provide protection in specific battle conditions and customized to work as an integrated part of REUK’s Trailblazer.

The solution includes a novel display for comfortable viewing for the vehicle driver while on long duration missions and incorporates integrated electronic display and classic direct view periscope technology. It has a newly designed and innovative compact biocular system to aid eye relief.

Karen Driver, G&H Sales Director, Aerospace and Defense, commented, “Working with REUK on Challenger 3 is an important achievement for the design, engineering and commercial teams at G&H. It cements the heritage around the Kent brand in the defense market. Since acquiring Kent Periscopes in 2016, G&H has continuously built on the capabilities of the staff and products.

“G&H confidently expects to win more business of this type in the coming years, and we will continue to grow our defense solutions and capabilities.”

The Challenger 3 EIP design and prototype systems will be completed in the newly established G&H Optical Systems Innovation Hub in St. Asaph, North Wales. Production manufacturing will take place at the G&H flagship manufacturing site in Ilminster, Somerset.

Richard Streeter, REUK’s Managing Director said, “The display system is critical; delivering front and rear views from the Trailblazer camera modules, enabling the driver to carry out the platform mission. The G&H solution allows a comfortable operating view suitable for long mission periods, while minimizing the driver’s eye strain.”

G&H added that Challenger program contract will support the growth of the company’s Optical Systems Innovation Hub and has allowed for further recruitment within both the R&D engineering department and program management at the hub, as well as an apprentice training scheme at the manufacturing site in Ilminster.

Kopin wins $3M first order for new weapon sight module

Kopin, a developer of high-resolution microdisplays and display subassemblies for defense, enterprise, consumer and medical products, this week announced it has won an initial $3 million production order for a new weapon sight module. The identity of the client was not disclosed; Kopin last year announced a $19.8M weapon sight contract with the US Army.

“This initial order for a new weapon sight electronic eyepiece confirms Kopin as the leader in weapon sight eyepieces for soldiers and is an example of our continued success in designing and manufacturing very complex microdisplay subassemblies that are used in the most rugged environments,” commented Bill Maffucci, Kopin's Vice President/General Manager of Government and Professional Products.

“This weapon sight is for a new market and application and we believe the current situation in Europe provides significant opportunities for follow-on orders.”

The module offers a sophisticated video “see through” augmented reality capability. It incorporates Kopin’s proprietary CyberDisplay product and custom-designed optics, which have installed in more than 250,000 weapon sight systems. Delivery is scheduled for 2023.

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