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14 June 2016

Eurosatory 2016: Safran Unleashes More Compact JIM for 100% Digital Imaging

At a press briefing, Safran informed on a new development of its JIM family of portable, multifunctional binoculars. Named JIM Compact, it embarks on the unique technology found in the renowned JIM LR (Long Range) system. The new device performs "in all-weather observation, as well as in the engagement and precise target location", Celine Carbiener, Sales & Marketing Manager, Optronics & Defence division, said. "We made it very compact and more functional."

MT found during a life presentation in Villepinte that the binocular is a lightweight solution best suited for high-mobility operations on the digital battlefield, with the device weighing 2kg only, including batteries.

Celine Carbiener told that the very first units were already delivered to the French Army for testing. The service is already employing 2,000 JIM LR units. She also informed on a first single export customer in NATO which was not name, however. "We started demonstrations with other customers", Celine Carbiener noted. Philippe Le Sueur, SAGEM's Vice President Sales & Marketing, Portable Optronics & Thermal Imagers, confirmed that the binocular can also be employed in the maritime environment.

JIM Compact offers a number of innovations, including daytime and infrared (IR) sensors, as well as a Low-Light Level (LLL) channel, with Celine Carbiener adding, "We have the capability to combine a thermal imaging channel with a(n) (LLL one)."

Safran quoted the binocular's day/thermal detection ranges at more than 7,000m (human) and 10,000-11,000m (combat vehicle). JIM Compact "is a cooled product", Celine Carbiener underlined, so it needs "not more than four minutes to be cooled down".

Additionally, there is a Smart Power concept that allows for much more autonomy, with Safran quoting an endurance of two hours. "You can see the battery status on the device's display", Celine Carbiener explained.

MT learned that systems like the new JIM Compact are an option for Close Air Support (CAS) missions. In doing so, the binocular is fitted with an eyesafe laser rangefinder (LRF) that can be operated over a distance of more than 12,000m. "With the laser pointer, we can pinpoint a target what we want to engage. And you can connect JIM Compact to laser designators", Celine Carbiener added. With these enhancements, the binocular "offers very good accuracy."

Questioned about the main reasons for developing this solution, she suggested that "technology evolved over the past several years", and "we are in regular contact with our customers which provide us with feedbacks" about the systems in operational use. STN