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Content & images by Aymeric De Cagny, Naval Business Developer at HGH Infrared Systems

Asymmetric threats are multiplying and take various forms (missiles, loitering munitions, drones’ swarms, USV swarms, RHIBs, …). More than ever, situational awareness is a key factor to fleet protection. The InfraRed Search and Track Solution from HGH Infrared is a novel, turnkey passive panoramic thermal detection system which can equip both new and upgraded ships.

New threat technologies along with the increasing sophistication in adversary tactics highlight the critical mission of an IRST to guarantee very early warning and support proactive decisions. Asymmetric threats can have destructive effects and reduce the operational capabilities of ships. To face an unwanted attack, they need to ensure a self-protection area.

InfraRed Search and Track Systems enhance situational awareness of surface vessels by automatically detecting, tracking and classifying all threats in real-time coming from air and sea surface.

SPYNEL® IRST,  a turnkey, sea-proven panoramic warning solution
SPYNEL IRST solution (photo right) consists of a set of two sea-proven SPYNEL-X thermal imaging cameras, capturing real-time HD-360 video with a resolution up to 120 Mpix.

Designed for maritime environment, two SPYNEL-X sensor heads are easily mounted on the vessel’s mast, to port and starboard, or bow and stern structure. Operating at high sea state thanks to an autonomous gyro-stabilized platform, SPYNEL IRST performs long range detection up to the horizon, with a full panoramic surveillance and a wide elevation coverage without any blind sector.
Depending on the mission of the warship, the command team can fine tune the tilt of the SPYNEL-X sensor head to secure the surroundings of the ship, by monitoring the sky or the sea surface. Combining high quality image and large fields of view, SPYNEL IRST solution is suitable to all operational missions and threats.

Self-Protection: Detecting All Air and Surface Asymmetric Targets Very Early
SPYNEL IRST associated with Cyclope software is continuously monitoring the warship self-protection zone in order to detect, track and identify all approaching threats.
Sea proven video processing, advanced alarm management module, Artificial Intelligence for target classification, AIS/radar data fusion and continuous tracking of any possible threats over the entire field of view provide the command team an unparalleled comprehensive situation awareness.
With its full 360-degree coverage, passive technology and very low false alarm rate, SPYNEL IRST provides unprecedented self-protection of the ship even during silent missions.

Easy Integration into Combat Management System
Processed by Cyclope Hypervisor, the data of all threats automatically detected and tracked by both SPYNEL sensors are collected, fused and displayed on one single operator console. Cyclope Hypervisor can be easily integrated within the Combat Management System, for a single control and monitoring environment, allowing the command team to take quick decisions and actions.
Cyclope Hypervisor software is also offered by HGH as a supervision software monitoring the SPYNEL IRST solution. It provides real-time centralization of all threats detected by the two SPYNEL sensors as well as fusion of thermal tracks with radar and AIS data.

Easy Deployment
Ship crews needed to rely on simple, easy to use and low maintenance systems to ensure mission success. Designed as a set of independent sensors, SPYNEL IRST features:

  • A robust design adapted to the harshest naval environment
  • A modular design making it compatible with any type of warships whatever the tonnage is, for new vessels or mid-life upgrades (frigates, OPV, corvettes, …)
  • A turn-key design facilitating installation, on-site maintenance and minimizing integration costs

It provides a high level of availability and an easy integration on board.

Main applications
Blue water – SPYNEL IRST naval system is the ideal solution for large vessels self-protection, including aircraft carriers, frigates and corvettes during their critical missions in blue water.

Shallow water – SPYNEL IRST provides patrollers with surveillance and protection; P2CIS2 for typical assets like OPV, IPV, small patrollers and speedboats.

“Addressing the requirements of modern navies, HGH makes IRST technology accessible to all types of ships. SPYNEL IRST solution is a cost-effective and efficient early warning detection system for ship self-protection against conventional and asymmetrical threats”, said Aymeric de Cagny, Naval segment leader.

Tanker and sailing ships tracking and classification by Cyclope software with AI plugin

Small boat tracking and classification by Cyclope software with AI plugin

Selected by major navies of the world, SPYNEL IRST is a turnkey, sea-proven panoramic warning solution suitable to all naval missions. It combines 360-degree coverage, multi-target long-range automatic detection, tracking and classification for unprecedented ship protection. Easily deployable and fully passive, HGH’s IRST solution can operate in stand-alone mode or be part of the CMS.

Technical Contact: Aymeric De Cagny /
Exhibiting: SeaAirSpace, National Harbor, Maryland, 2-4 August, booth 2026; and,  SeaFuture, La Spezia Naval Base, 28 Sept-1 Oct, booth 9-119