Sophie™ users’ Club


France, Pau – ETAP: Ecole des Troupes Aéroportées

ETAP logo

For its 13th edition, the Sophie Users’ Club stopped in France to start its worldwide Tour on the 13th and 14th of October in Pau, at the ETAP – Ecole des Troupes Aéroportées.

The Thales Users’ Club brings together the community of European users of the Sophie thermal imagers and, more broadly, of optronic equipment for the dismounted soldier: land, special or conventional, armed forces.


The ETAP site, with its open jumping area, shooting range and camouflage area, lent itself ideally to the event desired format.


Here is the ETAP Commander’s words:

“The ETAP is a unique parachute center of expertise in Europe. Cultivating the parachutist spirit and its values, the school trains paratroopers to be fit for operational engagement by jumping. Proactive actor of the double capacity transformation (airplanes (A400M and C130J) and parachutes), the Mother house of paratroopers is definitely turned towards the future. The ETAP would be pleased to welcome the Sophie thermal camera user community, who, like the paratroopers, took part in all France’s latest commitments in operation.”


Two days close to the user

The last edition of the Sophie Tour dates back to 2019, so the number of participants was high and the program of demonstrations intense. Nearly fifty industrial partners or invited Thales users from five different countries were able to attend, in small groups composed according to shared interests, dynamic demonstrations, day and night, of our:

  • New Sophie Thermal Imager Family
  • NightRise night vision goggles (range already deployed but also the Nellie binoculars and other projects),
  • Optronic solutions for vehicles (ANTARES, PAAG, DVE)
  • Maintenance solutions
  • The flight demonstration of the Spy’Ranger 330mini-UAV system accompanied by operational comments from a user returning from a mission in Mali where the system has already carried out numerous sorties in theatres of operation was a key moment of this Sophie Tour.
  • Demonstration of the new Thales XTRAIM weapon sight Its decamouflage capabilities were tested in both daytime decamouflage and shooting conditions and nighttime decamouflage conditions.