Military use of Thermal imaging.

mudman

Well-Known Member
I presume there are quite a few ex / current forces on here, so a question I have pondered for a while. How has TI changed modern warfare? We all know how often TI is described as a game changer for deer stalking, so similar must apply to the battlefield? How can infantry survive against a TI equipped adversary? Likewise the big lumps of armour? If we can use it to see them, they can surely use it to see us?
 

stoker150

Well-Known Member
Ahh you may well ask. I recall on my recce course about 1990 and our introduction to thermal imaging at the soldier level challenger one had it and it was impressive but that's another story. When introduced to the manpad version was omg moment from then on going underground was the way ahead. You can also get basically big blankets to cover vehicles. The man pad version was pretty bulky and required compressed air bottles to keep it cool and lasted 3 hours with continuous use you can imagine the amount of bottles required for a 4 day op.
 

tozzybum

Well-Known Member
As a " remf" at 4 armoured workshop in the late 80,s we got to use the ir and new thermal and it was a total game changer.
So 30 years later it must be star wars technology in the latest vehicles.
I know my Pulsar xq50 makes my 23 thermal look like a child's toy and there's only 5 years between them .
 

Farmer_J

Well-Known Member
Check this out, came up the other day on the tube. You can prob bet this is old tech in military now though...

 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Ahh you may well ask. I recall on my recce course about 1990 and our introduction to thermal imaging at the soldier level challenger one had it and it was impressive but that's another story. When introduced to the manpad version was omg moment from then on going underground was the way ahead. You can also get basically big blankets to cover vehicles. The man pad version was pretty bulky and required compressed air bottles to keep it cool and lasted 3 hours with continuous use you can imagine the amount of bottles required for a 4 day op.
I was shown one back in the 80's it was the size of a bazooka and was supposedly state of the art at the time. I seem to think it was cooled with carbon dioxide rather than compressed air. I remember the run time was limited and was about 40 minutes (?). I do remember the low humming sound it made when in use and the maximum range under ideal conditions which was about three miles and for targets the size of a tank if I remember right.
Thermal spotters have come a very long way since then, just think of what's available to the general public and then wonder what the capabilities of the latest equipment available to the military must be like. One thing is for certain and that is that it will be an awful lot smaller than the kit that was shown to me back then.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
You lot do realise that our kit was made by the lowest bidder.
During the Falkland war Sheffield was using a computer for the missile guidance that the Royal Mail had got rid of as unreliable for letter sorting machines.
How the hell did they expect to hit anything with a missile if it couldn't deliver a letter to the right door. :rofl:
 

mealiejimmy

Well-Known Member
When you fit thermal kit to a vehicle (tank, aircraft etc) you get two big advantages over hand held thermal imagers
One is that you can fit heavier, larger lenses that have longer focal lengths resulting in higher magnification and longer detection ranges
The other is that you can use cooled sensors which are much more sensitive to small changes in temperature compared to typical handheld thermal with their uncooled sensors
The result is thermal imagers with performance greatly exceeding that typically available commercially for "hunting"

Cheers

Bruce
 

bfltd0

Well-Known Member
I presume there are quite a few ex / current forces on here, so a question I have pondered for a while. How has TI changed modern warfare? We all know how often TI is described as a game changer for deer stalking, so similar must apply to the battlefield? How can infantry survive against a TI equipped adversary? Likewise the big lumps of armour? If we can use it to see them, they can surely use it to see us?
It's not just TI, there are lots of other intelligence-gathering tools that can be used to pinpoint enemy strength/location and help bring the appropriate firepower to bear.
 
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Sonicdmb73

Well-Known Member
How the hell did they expect to hit anything with a missile if it couldn't deliver a letter to the right door. :rofl:
Another one of those seemed like a good idea at the time.
I believe that the system in question was programmed by turning lights on and off.
They had two of these computers, both failed at the critical moment. Not the only reason behind the sinking, but a contributing factor.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Hitiles was the hype that the MOD press were spreading during the Falklands conflict.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Rapier :doh: :popcorn:
only thermal anything we had was what kept my brew warm " rock wool" WE stuffed it around mr Thermas :rofl:
Rapier, :-|
Years ago I was talking to a guy who worked on the testing ranges at Pendine and he mentioned that they were testing the Mk 2 version. Apparently when the Mk1 version was fired at a jet if the pilot spotted it all he had to do was to turn on the after burner and the aircraft simply sped away from the Rapier missile. They were also testing the LSW at the time and that was failing to register on the target screens.
 

Cootmeurer

Well-Known Member
Been a while since I have watched any “live” footage, or even recent but still classified from observation platforms like the predator/reaper. However, most had several forms of imaging systems and it was easy to flip from one to another.

What I remember most clearly was the use in a desert environment, and either humans, or recently fired weapons just could not be hidden unless you had a cave. Anything else and it stood out like a strobe beacon.
 
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