Innovation at HENSOLDT

HENSOLDT, is based on a strong corporate heritage from leading European defence companies. The company stands for the pursuit of technological progress and innovation, the will to create premium, affordable solutions time and again, at the same time always maintaining a solid, practical sense of efficiency, as shown by the few examples below.

Moritz Carl Hensoldt, a pioneer in the field of optics and precision mechanics, developed benchmark technology solutions and products in his domain of binoculars and telescopic sights, revolutionising surveillance and reconnaissance as well as target acquisition in his time.

His relentless pursuit of innovation and his incomparable way of translating scientific findings into useful products, perfectly characterises the achievements of all the other heroes of technology who together formed the heritage of our company, working at predecessor companies such as Telefunken, Zeiss, Siemens, Dornier, Aerospatiale-Matra or Airbus.

AESA Radar Technology

As a leader in sensor technology, HENSOLDT is driving the development of radar.  The newest radar generation is based on AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) technology, one of the core competences of HENSOLDT which allows for superior performance in the air, at sea and on land.  AESA technology’s core elements include transmit and receive modules (TRM) based on gallium nitride technology, but additionally moving closer to the “digital” antenna or front-end. This adds uniquely flexible electronic features, allowing for excellent power efficiency and unique operational capabilities. Running Europe’s biggest clean-room assembly line for TRM production, HENSOLDT is the European leader in this technology. Among other applications, AESA radar technology is employed in the new E-CAPTOR radar of the Eurofighter/Typhoon weapon system as well as the TRS-4D and Spexer radars.  

In its Passive Radar, HENSOLDT has integrated the latest capabilities of digital receiver and signal-processing technology to significantly enhance range and detection accuracy by monitoring various emitters at the same time. It has thus fused emissions from several bands. While omitting emissions of its own, it allows for surveillance of vast areas without giving away its own position.

Thermal imaging technology

Affordable Infrared sensors of the highest quality are becoming ever more important. That is particularly true when it comes to the reduction of personnel and material in the armed forces, but also to avoid collateral damage. In present-day mission scenarios, the emphasis lies on better quality images for a clearer situational picture. To fulfil the growing demands with regard to night and adverse weather combat capabilities, HENSOLDT offers a number of solutions for platforms on land, at sea and in the air. Building on more than 120 years of experience in the field of specialised optics and optronics, the former Carl Zeiss Optronics has made excellent progress in the domain of thermal imaging technology, including fusion of several spectral bands. Beginning in 1981 with the first generation thermal imager WBG-X, the developers at HENSOLDT have always created cutting-edge sensor solutions. WBG-X was succeeded in 2000 by the second generation OPHELIOS thermal imager. Currently, the most popular product is ATTICA, the third generation thermal imager that has been produced since 2010 and that is the replacement device for the first generation WBG-X. All three generations are still in use today: By the infantry, in armoured vehicles, submarines, helicopters, border surveillance and camp protection. 


Highly effective countermeasures against illicit intrusions by small drones offers the combination of sensor data from different sources with latest data fusion, signal analysis and jamming technologies. HENSOLDT’s solution uses operational radars, infrared cameras and direction finders from its portfolio to identify the drone and assess its threat potential while a jammer based on HENSOLDT’s Smart jamming technology enables the disruption of steering signals.

Laser technology

HENSOLDT lasers for space applications benefit from the insights and experience gained through the development of successful laser rangefinders for military applications. The best practices and lessons learned with terrestrial lasers, paired with excellence in space instrumentation, enabled the engineers at HENSOLDT to develop the technology for laser-assisted planetary observation, including the use of a laser altimeter for ESA’s satellite mission to Mercury. The company furthermore equips the M1 Abrams main battle tank with an eye safe laser rangefinder.     

HENSOLDT solutions are deployed on various platforms, including submarines, armoured vehicles, aircraft, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles, for air, sea, land and space missions.