Thales Group’s TopOwl Helmet-Mounted System

Headquartered in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, the Thales Group is a multinational company with footholds in multiple platforms including the aerospace, defense, security, and transportation sectors. Named after the Greek god Thales who was known for his innovation, the goal of this group is to create tools using state-of-the-art technology that will help their customers create a safer world.

One of these tools is the TopOwl Helmet-Mounted Sight and Display (HMSD), which has become the most advanced helmet on the market for helicopter crews. Its I2T technology (Image Intensifier Tubes) and high-definition capability allows the pilots to switch between a variety of light intensifications and vision modes while at the same time being able to see layered flight or weapon symbols. In a nutshell, the helmet will give the pilot a virtual representation of the world around the helicopter, even in difficult weather. Using information from integrated databases, GPS data, and TopOwl’s accurate Pilot’s Line of Sight (LoS) measurement, the synthetic view is generated in real time and superimposed on the actual terrain vision. Having already proved its worthiness on the battlefields in Afghanistan and Libya, the TopOwl helmet will only keep increasing mission success rates.

The TopOwl HMSD has been in full-scale production since April 2012. To date, over 1,000 systems have been delivered throughout 16 nations. In July 2012, the helmet was selected by the Organization for Joint Armaments Cooperation (OCCAR) for flight testing onboard the A400M prototype, a four-engine turboprop military transport helicopter. The tests are scheduled to take place between June 2012 and April 2013 and hope to verify that the military helicopters can use the HSMD during night missions.

Today, the Thales Group has operations in more than 50 countries with over 68,000 employees. About one third of those employed are engineers and researchers. They reported a revenue of USD$15 billion in 2011, 60% of which came from military sales. Fortune 500 Global ranks the group as the 475th largest company and the 11th largest defense contractor in the world.

ASAP Semiconductor is a leading distributor of Thales Group parts. We are ISO 9001-2008 certified, ASA 100 accredited, and a member of the Aviation Suppliers Association. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive catalogue of both obsolete and in-production Thales products ranging from transmit control cards to motion system control parts and more at If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at or 714-705-4780 for a quote.


Recent Twitter Posts