Russian optical sensor specialist UOMZ has steadily increased market penetration with its range of sensor pods and is increasingly perceived to be price-competitive without compromising quality. The company’s strength lies particularly in the development of gyro-stabilized sensor systems.
These include sensor pods dedicated to specific tasks such as the Son 612, which is an observation system for power lines, while the Son 602 is a laser gas-analyzing pod for monitoring oil and gas pipelines. The Son 122 is a surveillance system fitted to the Ka-226 helicopter for use on search and rescue missions. Other Russian helicopters that have been fitted with UOMZ pods include the Mil Mi-172 and Kamov Ka-50.
Meanwhile, the Austrian-designed Diamond DA42 is a new fixed-wing application for an UOMZ pod in the form of the Son 112 offered for powerline, law enforcement, SAR and ecological monitoring roles. Delivered at the end of last year, the SON 112 is fitted with FLIR System’s Thermovision sensor with wide- and narrow-field TV channels. It has since been successfully integrated with the DA42 and if Diamond’s sales estimates prove correct, it will take a further 20 to 30 sensors.
But in addition to producing sensor pods for helicopter and fixed-wing applications, UOMZ has also designed, developed and manufactured the optronic suites for the MiG-29 and Su-27/30 combat aircraft families. This has led to the conclusion of contracts to provide spare parts and maintenance support for Russian fighters in service with the air forces of India, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Slovakia.