HAI Convention News

Thommen spotlights redone Russian searchlight system

 - February 21, 2010, 4:09 PM

Revue Thommen, a Switzerland-based manufacturer of aircraft instruments, air-data systems and components, is at Booth No. 1434 with a redesign of a helicopter searchlight system made by Russia's Transas. The new searchlight fills “a niche where current product offerings fail to meet the needs of the market,” said Thommen’s Rudolf Iten. The redesigned Thommen TSL 1600 searchlight will be certified under EASA and FAA standards.

Iten said a cadre of European engineers, including numerous Russian expatriates, have replaced the electronics and mechanical interfaces in the original searchlight with state-of-the-art hardware to produce a more compact, robust and reliable assembly. Design, certification and production authority is all being done at Thommen's facility in Switzerland. The searchlight itself produces the same illumination level. “We have eliminated all the Russian content and replaced it with European and American components,” he explained, adding that the design also greatly reduces the assembly’s thermal signature, a feature Iten said will be appreciated by military operators.

The TSL 1600 searchlight features a streamlined casing with power management and control components integrated within the unit to eliminate aerodynamic issues and the need for remote junction boxes and cabling. The system is designed to slave automatically to infrared cameras and similar forward-looking sensors, and it also can be integrated with digital mapping or tracking systems using a built-in RS-422 interface, according to the company. The final version of the TSL 1600 will ship with an EASA Form 1 certificate of airworthiness, which is similar to the FAA Form 8130.