CECILE-TS: owning the night
The CECILE-TS family of extra-rugged Thermal Weapon Sights, specially adapted for use with precision-calibre weapons (from 5.56 to 12.7 mm) in night-time operations, combines a state-of-the-art optronics package with the very latest advances in mechanical design.
The new family – Thales’s first venture into Thermal Weapon Sights, and available in medium- and long-range versions for individual and crew-served weapons – has now moved into volume production, with a significant order slated for delivery in mid-2018.
The long-range version of CECILE-TS is ideal for Special Forces snipers and spotters working in pairs to identify and eliminate individual high-value targets or destroy vehicles or other hardware. In a typical scenario, a spotter equipped with a target location device, such as Thales’s SOPHIE-XF/VGA long-range hand-held thermal imager, would locate and identify the target before giving the sniper the order to fire. The key to mission safety and success is the team’s ability to engage at long range and then withdraw.
The medium-range version of CECILE-TS is designed for use by marksmen working within infantry platoons to engage enemy combatants with a high degree of precision on the battlefield. Dismounted soldiers gain a crucial tactical advantage by being able to engage and eliminate targets with such a high degree of accuracy even during the night.
Fusing optronics and mechanical expertise
CECILE-TS is the result of a win-win partnership between Thales and SCROME, an innovative French SME (seebelow). Thales provides the very latest uncooled (and therefore silent) high-resolution VGA infrared detector with a high pixel pitch, which means higher resolution in a smaller-sized package, and, in turn, crystal-clear target images. Flexible zoom capabilities and a wide field of view at long range – ensuring better situational awareness when aiming – further add to the product’s precision performance.
SCROME’s expertise in day weapon sights and opto-mechanical design, meanwhile, ensures outstanding shock resistance, so that sights (and therefore weapons) remain ready for combat even under the most severe conditions.
Unlike competing products which need extra dampers mounted on the sight to absorb the recoil associated with sniper rounds, CECILE-TS boasts dampers that are fully integrated into the opto-mechanical package, providing excellent recoil resistance, while also reducing weight, and ensuring that the sight sits lower on the weapon. This ensures a very high level of discretion and hence maximum safety for the sniper-spotter team at the key point in their mission.
User comfort is additionally optimised by the sight’s long eye relief to ensure that the eye is positioned at a safe distance from the sight. The eyepiece is also lower than the objective lens, rather than in line with it, allowing a more natural firing position. This unique design feature explains the distinctive “offset” physical outline of CECILE-TS.
The power of connectivity
All sights in the CECILE-TS family boast inbuilt connectivity features, ensuring easy system integration and enabling spotter/sniper teams as well as command centres to benefit from enhanced local situational awareness and a common operational picture.
An intuitive top-mounted interface with fast reticule (cross-hair) control ensures smooth, simple operation under battlefield conditions. The rugged design is fully compatible with the NATO-standard weapon sight mounting platform, as well as the US-standard Picatinny mounting rail, making it hugely versatile.
As precise and easy to use as a conventional day weapon sight, CECILE-TS is the most advanced thermal weapon sight on the market today, providing the dismounted soldier with extremely accurate medium- and long-range aiming and surveillance capabilities, as well as optimised situational awareness, during night-time operations. Offering unrivalled performance in a compact, ergonomic package weighing in at under 1.5 kg, the CECILE-TS family of Thermal Weapon Sights will soon be in use in the field by Special Forces snipers as well as infantry marksmen and heavy machine gun crews, enhancing the mission effectiveness of forces on the ground and helping them stay connected with commanders and other units so together they can “own the night”.