Philips AllView Multi-Band Digital Camera System

  • Type: multi-band (IIR/UV/Visual) forward looking digital camera with search and track capabilities
  • Manufacturer: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
  • Introduced: 2013
  • Range:

Philips’ AllView series multi-band digital camera systems were revolutionary in their time. The AllView was the first sensor system to combine Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Infrared Search and Track capabilities in a relatively small package. Prior to that, platforms such as the VF-1 Valkyrie mounted separate systems in the forms of the Thomson DOS-2000 multi-band digital camera system, which was available in Battloid mode, and the Zeiss TS-2 long range FLIR, which was only available in fighter and GERWALK modes. As such, the Valkyrie was not able to leverage the long-range telescopic search and track capabilities of the FLIR while in Battloid mode, relying instead on what was a rudimentary camera system with limited magnification and tracking capabilities. The AllView, as installed on the VF/A-6 Alpha, allowed full capabilities via the same system in all modes. This cut down on weight, complexity, and cost.

The AllView also boasted a high level of system integration, marrying it with the host platform’s radar and warning receivers. The system also integrated the Thomson LT-5 laser designator, which allowed for laser designation and laser spot tracking for cooperative engagements. This enabled seamless pilot interface, where sensor information could be shown on a display which combined visual images with targeting information overlays generated by both the radar, the multi-band cameras and all information received from the platform’s warning receivers. For example, if the platform is lazed during combat, the AllView would reconcile that threat data with the physical image of the contact and overlay icons and data designating the contact as a threat. Additionally, the system could leverage specific target data from each system, based on which system is best suited to the data in question.

The AllView was very small in size, relative to its capabilities. The primary sensor group measured 40cm by 55cm by 70cm. This allowed entire system to be installed in the confined space of the “head” of variable mecha such as the VF/A-6 Alpha and VF-4 Lightning III and allowed for flexible placement in more convention land mecha and aerospace fighters.  

The original AllView was the first 4th generation FLIR to enter production. 4th generation systems offered exceptional clarity and resolution over their 3rd generation predecessors. To put this in perspective, the AllView provided the same resolution at 10x magnification of a target at 1300 meters as the VF-1’s DOS-2000 provided at 100 meters and zero magnification. The AllView could see in both the visual, infrared, and ultraviolet spectrums. This data could be combined in multiple ways, according to pilot preference. The pilot could choose to view targets in full color, with heat sources enhanced in brightness; pure infrared images in black and white, in either white hot or black hot modes; or non-enhanced visual spectrum displays.

The AllView V1.0 (AAQ-50) was first installed on the VF-4 Lightning III in 2014. While the VF-4 itself was cursed by design, its sensor package was a one of the few successes to come out of the program. The AllView, which was the centerpiece of the sensor package, was later installed by Maxwell Dynamics in V1.2 form on its wildly successful Alpha fighter series of Veritechs. It was also installed on all the Destroids procured by the UEEF prior to the Pioneer Mission. Though the AllView was later eclipsed by Philips’ AllView II, which offered 360-degree coverage, upgraded versions of the AllView still found their way into mecha where space constraints precluded the use of the larger system, such as Quimeliquola’s TFR-29 Interceptor Bioroid in the V2.0 iteration and in the some of the late UEEF Destroids, such as the NA-1 Jackal, in V3.0 form. The AllView V3.0, which made use of 5th generation FLIR technology, was not backwards compatible with the earlier versions mounted on the VF/A-6 Alphas. For this reason, the VF/A-6X Shadow Alpha introduced the Type 4 sensor housing (Shadow-Head) which allowed the newer generation AllView to be incorporated. Plans to upgrade the UEEF’s legacy fleet of Alphas with the new sensor housing never materialized. These Alphas were instead upgraded to VF/A-6ZS standard making use of the AllView V1.4, which also made use of 5th generation FLIR technology, but in a small enough package to fit in the Type 3 sensor housing (Air-Head).


AllView V1.0 (AAQ-50), introduced 2014

AllView V1.1 (AAQ-50/1), introduced 2016

AllView V1.2 (AAQ-50/2), introduced 2018

AllView V1.3 (AAQ-50/3), introduced 2022

AllView V2.0 (AAQ-59), introduced 2026

AllView V3.0 (AAQ-58), introduced 2038

AllView V1.4(plus) (AAQ-50/4+), introduced 2044

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (R) is the property of Fuji Television, Artmic Studio and Tatsunoko Production. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2021 Tim Wing