June 11, 2012 in Paris for the first day of the Eurosatory defense exhibition in 2012, of "Rosoboronexport" and the French company Thales Optronics (division of Thales) entered into a contractual agreement for the licensed production in Russia the third-generation thermal imaging cameras Thales Catherine XP. Assembling the Catherine XP thermal imaging cameras will be on the basis of JSC "Vologda Optical and Mechanical Plant ". The number of planned to build systems are not reported. In addition, a contract for the repair of components of thermal imaging cameras manufactured by Thales in Russia.
According to the contract in September 2007 Russia bought 100 thermal imaging cameras previous generation Thales Catherine FC, is installed on the electro-optical thermal imaging sights "Essa" (produced by the Belarusian company "Bearing") for the T-90A. Since 2008, in the "Vologda Optical and Mechanical Plant" is a center for repair and maintenance of thermal imaging cameras Catherine FC. The new thermal imaging Catherine XP, which will Cobiralas at the factory for a license, have higher resolution (768 x 576) and a target detection range. Furthermore, they compact and lighter than their predecessors (have a weight of 3 kg), and also have a lower level of energy consumption.
"We are consistently increasing our cooperation with Thales. The signing of the contract — the next stage in the development of our relations. This is a good example of bringing modern technology in areas where we have some lag from their foreign counterparts. New thermal imagers will be made in the interests of the Russian Ministry of Defense, they also will be equipped with export Russian armored vehicles, "- said the deputy general director of" Rosoboronexport "Igor Sevastyanov at the signing ceremony.
In 2011, Thales possessed more than 600 firm orders for thermal imaging cameras Catherine XP, serially produced since 2006. The camera of this type are installed as standard in the day-night sights on the French Sagem MOP wheeled armored personnel carriers VBCI, mast lifting intelligence systems VBL armored reconnaissance version of the French army and intelligence version of Pandur wheeled armored Belgian army as well as stabilized gunner’s sight Saab UTTAS, used on the BMP CV9035NL Mk III Dutch Army and BMP CV9035DK Danish army.
Catherine FC in the offices of the gunner and commander in the T-90: