Vectronix has its roots in the military survey activities of Wild Heerbrugg which began producing military instruments such as rangefinders and aiming circles more than sixty years ago. It became an important partner of the Gruppe Rustung (GR), now ArmaSuisse (Swiss Procurement Agency), for both the supply of its own products and the licensed production of international optomechanical, electronic and optronic equipment.
Wild Heerbrugg and Ernst Leitz merged into the Wild Leitz Group, which merged with Cambridge Instruments to form the Leica Group. In 1997 the Leica Group split into Leica Microsystems and Leica Geosystems, and on 1 April 2002 the Defense & Special Projects business unit of Leica Geosystems was incorporated under the name of Leica Vectronix. Groupe SAGEM, a high-technology communications and defence group, acquired 100% of Leica Vectronix on 1 February 2003. The company's name was shortened to Vectronix AG on 1 August 2003.
Vectronix introduced the VECTORTM Rangefinder Binoculars, the world's first combination of binocular optics, eye safe laser rangefinder, digital compass and clinometer. This product is typical for the majority of Vectronix's activities: state-of-the-art COTS solutions for observation, orientation and rangefinding for the armed forces.
Besides finished products for the end-users, Vectronix also provides subsystems or modules for industrial prime contractors, in particular for international land warrior modernization programs where it contributes to the soldiers' situational awareness enhancement.
Vectronix carries out development, design, assembly, testing and final inspection of its products. Parts production is outsourced on competitive basis, the lion's share going to specialized factories within the Leica industrial park in Heerbrugg. Many of its optics benefit from Leica's design and production know-how.
In 2003, with around 100 employees, Vectronix achieved a turnover of CHF 68.8 million. Vectronix exported 90% of its production, over one third to North America.
Eyesafe laser rangefinders, including the famous binocular LEICA VECTOR family of which 10,000 units have been sold to date, and the Pocket LRF (PLRF) of which several hundred are in service in the US and other armed forces.
· Night Vision InstrumentsImage intensifier products including night vision goggles, binoculars, pocketscopes, and driver periscopes. Over 50'000 units delivered to date.
· Military Survey EquipmentDigital goniometers for modern forward observer systems and customized system solutions with optronic payloads and data input/output devices. Gun laying and positioning systems for artillery and mortars.
· OEM ModulesAngle measuring and range finding sensors and modules for integration in upper level systems or modernization kits, in particular for future soldier programs.
· Assemblies / Thermal Systems
High-tech optronics build to print and licensed production, mainly for the Swiss government.
Already in 1986 Leica AG was awarded the SQS Certificate according to SN 29100. In 1998 Leica Geosystems AG was certified according to ISO 14001.
From its start on 1St April 2002 the management system of Vectronix is certified to fulfill the requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 / ISO 14001:1996 standards.