Theon Hensoldt to supply additional Mikron night vision goggles to German and Belgian armies


The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has officially inked a second contract amendment for the supply of binocular night vision goggles and In-Service Support on behalf of Belgium and Germany. This significant development sees a consortium comprising Hensoldt Optronics GmbH and Theon Sensors at its core.
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Mikron night Vision goggles (Picture source: Theon Sensors)


Under this latest contract amendment, a total of 3,500 night vision goggles are allocated to Belgium, while Germany is set to receive 16,041 night vision goggles and 8,423 Head Mounting Systems. However, it's important to note that the approval of the latter two quantities from the German parliament is still pending and anticipated to be granted by the end of the first quarter in 2024. Notably, the contract also includes an option for an additional 25,000 night vision goggles for each of Belgium and Germany, providing both participating nations with the flexibility to acquire more units without the need for further negotiations.

Christian Hadjminas, President of Theon, expressed his satisfaction with the contract, stating, "The award of this newly signed second amendment underscores that the two customer nations rely on the superior quality of the night vision goggles and the professional and reliable execution of the deliveries. The progress of the program with such an ambitious timetable is astonishing and is the result of the efforts of all partners."

This development follows a previous contract amendment signed by OCCAR in July 2022, which exercised an option for the supply of an additional 20,000 Mikron Night Vision Goggles to the German Armed Forces and accelerated the delivery schedule in response to evolving geopolitical circumstances. The combined total of 29,550 Night Vision Goggles from the base contract and the first amendment is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2024. The base contract, signed by OCCAR in July 2021, initially featured 4,500 night vision goggles for Belgium and 5,000 for Germany, all of which have already been successfully delivered.

In light of the original contract's signing, Hensoldt Optronics and Theon Sensors established a joint venture named Hensoldt Theon NightVision GmbH in Wetzlar, Germany, in June 2022. Following the transfer of technology from Athens to Wetzlar, production capacity was rapidly increased. This joint effort, encompassing Theon's headquarters in Athens and Hensoldt Theon NightVision in Wetzlar, has proven essential in facilitating large-scale production to meet the demanding delivery timelines.

Both Belgium and Germany rely on Mikron, a binocular night vision goggle featuring two 16mm image intensifier tubes and an integrated infra-red illuminator. This versatile device can be employed as a handheld unit or mounted on a helmet. Furthermore, its dual channels can operate separately or in tandem, with the added flexibility of flipping them up or sideways individually. Powered by a single AA-type battery, Mikron can also be used in conjunction with an external power pack for extended missions. This innovative product was developed by market leader Theon Sensors S.A.

The increased night vision capability delivered by these goggles is of paramount importance for both participating nations, enhancing the equipment available to their dismounted, airmobile, air assault soldiers, and military vehicle drivers. Recent conflicts have underscored the critical necessity of conducting missions under cover of darkness, making this procurement significant for the defense and security of Belgium and Germany.


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OCCAR-EA Director Joachim Sucker, Τheon President Christian Hadjiminas, Hensoldt Head of Legal Operations Bjoern Januoschek and Hensoldt Head of HR Thilo Fronz during the contract signature (Picture source: Theon/Hensoldt)


Defense News January 2024