Taking the association a step ahead, Thales and MKU today announced the co-development of the ELFIE Night Vision Device (NVD) for the armed forces in India and across the world on the sidelines of DefExpo 2020. With this, both companies have further solidified the MoU signed in 2018 for strategic co-operation on developing optronic devices. This co-operation involves co-development of these devices at MKU's facility in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
A lightweight monocular with the widest field of view, ELFIE provides unprecedented mobility and night combat capability. Whether hands-free (on a face mask or helmet mount) or weapon-mounted, ELFIE is suitable for left or right eye use and provides stereoscopic vision in binocular configuration. ELFIE is ideal for vehicle-driving and for paratroopers and special forces operators. When mounted on a weapon, it provides a red dot sight or laser pointer to the user.
The integration of the first pre-series of ELFIE at MKU's facility in Kanpur is expected to be completed in the first trimester of 2020. A true model of the "Made in India" ELFIE night vision device is expected to be available in the first trimester of 2021.
"We are enthusiastic about taking our strategic association forward with MKU with the co-development of ELFIE. This embodies the Government's 'Make in India' initiative. Coming up in the Defence Industrial Corridor of Uttar Pradesh, this versatile night vision device will be offered to the armed forces in India as well as across the world. Together with MKU, we look forward to strengthening the industrial ecosystem while also contributing towards job creation in the country," said Pascale Sourisse, Senior Executive Vice President – International Development, Thales.
Neeraj Gupta, Managing Director, MKU Limited, said, "We are delighted about this partnership with a global technology leader like Thales. This association will combine Thales' expertise with the manufacturing abilities of MKU and boost local manufacturing for the defence industry. We will develop the entire supply chain and the devices will be manufactured to exacting international standards."