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Embedded Image Periscopes (EIP) moduleEmbedded Image Periscopes (EIP) module©️ G&H

Designed with the driver in mind: performance and state-of-the-art customization of the Embedded Image Periscope for Challenger 3 tanks


Challenging times call for strongly innovative solutions. In search of the next-generation armored fighter vehicle to complete the Main Battle Tank (MBT) request of the British Army, Rheinmetall Electronics UK (REUK) initiated a collaboration with G&H, to work on an integrated sighting system that excels at reconnaissance, surveillance, driver safety, and target acquisition. The optics and photonics industry leader has been awarded a £4.1M Challenger 3 contract to deliver a generational upgrade to the Embedded Image Periscope (EIP) system, which would integrate with the rest of the planned high-tech improvements. This would prove to be a bold project aimed at matching the overall strategic and technological leap planned for this British MBT.

Dubbed “the eyes of the British Challenger 3”, the new EIP, developed and manufactured by UK-based G&H | Kent, integrates a combination of classic glass and digital display electronic periscope design. This fusion allows for a wider selection of views for the driver, eliminating unnecessary head position movements and periscope swapping. Equipped with “standalone” and “leave alone” day and night options, as well as a relaxed-view biocular for eye relief, the versatility of the EIP is expressed through its modular build. Respecting the high-precision environment in which the periscope technology needs to perform, its adaptability has been maximized to fit any necessary requirements from the crew.

G&H embedded image periscope (EIP) on British Challenger 3Creator: Marcus Jacobs | Credit: Rheinmetall AG | Copyright @ Rheinmetall AG 2021

A game-changing element brought in by the G&H team in the product design process represents the EIP’s reversionary mode. A strong feature according to the feedback retrieved from various UK MoD trials, this functionality addresses high-risk cases, as explained by Peter Kean, G&H’s Innovation Unit Director of Optics & Photonics:

“In the event that a vehicle loses all its power, you can’t use your displays or your situational awareness cameras that feed into this system. But the driver still needs to be able to see, to exit the threat in the environment. Through this system, a combined glass and electronic periscope, with the flick of a switch, you are just looking out of a glass periscope. So, in that ultra-threat scenario, you just flick the switch and drive.”

Another key feature in the design of Challenger 3 is its immersive and immediate communication capability. As stated by former UK defense secretary Ben Wallace, “what you will see is a far more integrated vehicle”.1 G&H’s approach to the technological development of the EIP is aiming to enhance precisely this quality of the new MBT through its digital connectivity with the Spectre camera system. This electronic feature includes both a day and a thermal imaging camera, plus an overlay of the two. As such, crew members save precious seconds in reaction time when needing to secure a mission.

The focus placed on EIP solutions for armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) has to be translated into battlefield fluency. In this case, the new Challenger 3 periscope underwent a set of customization stages in order to respond seamlessly within REUK’s Trailblazer Driver Vision System. Richard Streeter, REUK’s Managing Director, appreciated the end result:

Embedded Image Periscope (EIP) BiocularEmbedded Image Periscope (EIP) Biocular©️ G&H

“We are very pleased to have G&H on-board, delivering this important component into the Challenger 3 program. The display system is critical; delivering front and rear views from the Trailblazer camera modules, enabling the driver to carry out the platform mission. The G&H solution allows a comfortable operating view suitable for long mission periods, while minimizing the driver’s eye strain. The G&H technology is unique and the team at St. Asaph and Ilminster are experts in delivering complex electro-optic solutions.”

When envisioning the tank that would represent the United Kingdom’s armored capability, the expectations were set very high. These bold plans included the field vision aspect of the vehicle. A more comprehensive outlook of the battlefield facilitated by a digital state-of-the-art, fusion concept is exactly what the periscope team at G&H delivered through the EIPs, following MoD mandates and requirements. As such, in 2030, the British Army will be ready to roll out its most digitally savvy AFV to date, “the most lethal tank in NATO”.2

1 Source: Force News - “Army Unveils The NEW CHALLENGER 3 Main Battle Tank!” (

2 Source: Force News - “Army Unveils The NEW CHALLENGER 3 Main Battle Tank!” (