On 05 July 2022, the OCCAR-EA Director signed a contract amendment to the NVGs contract on behalf of the Belgian and German Customer Nation with the Consortium of HENSOLDT Optronics GmbH and THEON Sensors SA. The contract amendment activates the existing option of the supply of an additional 20.000 MIKRON Night Vision Goggles to the German Armed Forces while at the same time the delivery schedule shall be accelerated in light of the changed geopolitical situation. The contract amendment furthermore covers various enhancements of the MIKRON and changes to the system configuration as a result of the Operational Testing and Acceptance phase which was successfully passed by the MIKRON end of February 2022. The overall contract value shall remain the same.
At the signing of the contract in Bonn with Andreas Hülle, Head of the Optronics & Land Solutions Division and Managing Director of HENSOLDT Optronics, and Christian Hadjiminas, CEO of Theon Sensors, the Director of OCCAR-EA Matteo Bisceglia stated: “The NVC programme is a great example that European industries can win by participating in a competitive procurement process managed by OCCAR. It proves that OCCAR can quickly and successfully deliver equipment to the benefit of the Nations’ Armed Forces and shows that with THEON, a European industry from a non-OCCAR state can participate and benefit from such a programme. Stimulated by this OCCAR contract, HENSOLDT and THEON decided to further deepen their cooperation in night vison capabilities, resulting in the establishment of a new company called HENSOLDT THEON Night Vision GmbH. Congratulations!”
Andreas Hülle said: “HENSOLDT and THEON have already worked together successfully in the past. Here, two European companies are working together in an exemplary way to equip the German armed forces with state-of-the-art night vision equipment. This order is directly related to our growth strategy. Russia’s war against Ukraine shows how important networked high-performance sensor technology and optical systems are for equipping our armed forces in line with the times.”
Christian Hadjminas added: “This new large contract amendment is a culmination of the successful cooperation between HENSOLDT Optronics GmbH and THEON SENSORS that opens doors for synergies and co-operation in other areas within Europe. The present growth is not only beneficial for the countries and companies involved, but also is strengthening the European industrial position in the worldwide context.”
The accelerated delivery schedule of the enhanced MIKRON shall start with first deliveries this week, while the total current contractual quantity of 29.550 NVGs is planned to be concluded in the 3rd quarter of 2024. The increase in night vision capability for both programme participating States is critical in providing advanced equipment for their dismounted, airmobile and air assault soldiers as well as drivers of military vehicles. MIKRON-D is a cutting edge, full MIL-SPEC, image intensified, dual tube binocular that is able to be operated helmet-mounted, head-mounted or hand-held.
It offers better depth perception than single tube systems making it easier to judge distances and relative motion so the ability to perform tasks such as driving is greatly improved. MIKRON-D is the ideal choice for special operations forces. For momentary configuration changes, the user can flip away each monocular separately. With both monoculars flipped away and flipped up, the system stows along the contour of the helmet thus reducing its silhouette and neck strain, minimizing the danger of system damage. MIKRON-D features self-contained single AA battery power and can be also operated via a remote battery pack at the rear of the helmet for increased operational life.
The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (French: Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement; OCCAR) is a European intergovernmental organisation that facilitates and manages collaborative armament programmes through their lifecycle between the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The highest decision-making body within OCCAR as corporate organisation is the Board of Supervisors (BoS). Each OCCAR programmes is supervised by a Programme Board (strategic decisions) and a Programme Committee (operational decisions). The programmes are executed by the OCCAR Executive Administration (OCCAR-EA) in accordance with the decisions of the supervisory bodies. OCCAR-EA is headed by the OCCAR Director (Matteo Bisceglia since September 2019) and consists of a Central Office and the Programme Divisions. OCCAR-EA employs over 300 staff members.