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30 Years YUKON Anniversary

30 years: from manufacturer of wooden binoculars to architect of thermal imaging trends

For hunting enthusiasts and outdoor activity buffs, PULSAR and Yukon Advanced Optics are well known and loved brands. These names are associated with reliable, innovative, and irreplaceable technologies which enhance a person's natural ability to see under difficult atmospheric conditions.

Typically, most business organizations are closed to the general public. They prefer to communicate through their trademarks or advertising campaigns. So both trademarks PULSAR and Yukon Advanced Optics are better known to consumers than is Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in the optical device industry this year.

Behind every product are the technologies and people who create them. But not everyone understands what high-tech companies do, and how they innovate. It takes hundreds of hours of research, development, design, engineering, manufacturing, and reiteration of full production cycles before the final product is created—all this ensures that consumers receive the most modern and technologically advanced product.

30 years of experience

Today, Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide is one of the most advanced high-tech groups of companies operating in Europe, with branches in seven countries around the world, with more than 1,100 employees developing new technologies every day. It is also one of the largest developers and manufacturers of thermal imaging, digital night and day vision optical devices for the civilian market for both professional use and leisure.

Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide products are used in hunting and tourism, the marine industry, security, and law enforcement. It develops innovative security solutions that can be applied in the transport industry. All devices manufactured by Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide are intended solely for civilian use, and the technology developer’s steadfast position is that its products are not intended for the military industry.

The company is one of few market players with a full product lifecycle ranging from research, development, and R&D to production and after-sales support. Yukon Advanced Optics and PULSAR digital and thermal imaging devices are renowned worldwide, while Ranger, Digisight, Apex, Quantum, Helion, Trail, Thermion, Axion, Digex, and Accolade are, in fact, well-developed separate brands.

Currently, the company has a range of more than 200 products, which are exported to more than 70 countries. The main markets are the USA and Europe.

Three stages of development

Every success story has its own origin story, and every organization its own history of development. Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide was founded by a group of like-minded people united in a shared passion for special optics and sought to expand human abilities to see in the most difficult weather conditions.

1. From the production of handmade wooden observation tubes to night vision devices (1991-2004)

The story begins in 1991 with the production of handmade wooden observation tubes. The first five wood items are assembled in the basement of an unfinished residential house. The devices find buyers in the small markets of Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Italy. The choice of wood is due to the shortage of other materials – at the time it was not possible to buy metal.

Cooperation with US-based partners opens the US market for the Company in 1995. The KGB 2.5x17 miniature theater binoculars spark acute interest in the local market. These are touted as binoculars used by KGB agents for covert surveillance and they hit it big in the United States.

In 1998, the Yukon Advanced Optics brand is established, with a portfolio based on daytime optical observation devices (telescopes and binoculars). As the range of daytime optics grows, the Company launches the production of its first night vision devices. Its business share in the global market of first generation NVDs reaches 70% by 2005.

The NVMT series of night vision monoculars has today become not only the most popular line of first-generation night vision devices in the world, sold in more than 40 countries, it is also widely copied. At the Shot Show exhibition in Las Vegas in 2017, one of the Chinese companies presented replicas of this device – more than 30 different models.

In 2001, the Company began production of night vision riflescopes based on the first-generation image intensifier tube. NVRS scopes have been successfully sold for over 15 years.

2. Worldwide manufacturer of digital night vision riflescope devices (2005-2011)

Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide is not only an optical device manufacturer but an innovator and the first manufacturer in the world to offer digital night vision devices (Ranger and Ranger Pro 5x42) to the civil market in 2005. Ranger proved to be the first truly effective digital night vision device, and subsequently one of the most successful digital night vision devices in the Company's history and was on sale until 2018.

Launched in 2009, the Digisight N550 digital night vision scope helped the Company tap into the global leaders in the digital night vision device segment. Along with Digisight, the range was expanded to include a number of daytime, night-time, and, sometime later, thermal imaging devices with ample functions, which were marketed under the PULSAR trademark.

In 2009, the PULSAR trademark was created, today the products under this trademark make up the bulk of the company's products.

3. Developer of Thermal Imaging Trends (2011–2021)

In 2012, Quantum, the world's first mass-produced civilian thermal imaging monocular was launched and offered to consumers. This device has helped Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide become the market leader in civil-purpose thermal imagers, and its various modifications were produced until 2018.

Photon was the first night vision scope on the market in 2016. It was embedded in the usual and understandable version for any hunter — the rings of daylight optics. This led  to the soaring popularity of the Photon line and customer demand for all the company's devices. It is still successfully used in new developments. Thus, the flagship lines of PULSAR, Thermion thermal imaging scopes, and Digex digital scopes were designed for conventional daylight optics.

An ultra-compact thermal imaging monocular, Axion XM30, was introduced in 2019, which not only easily fits into a trouser pocket, it can also detect an object of standard height (up to 1.8 m) at a distance of up to 1,350 meters in complete darkness.

In the same year, the new Thermion thermal imaging riflescope was also introduced. The product of this series combines the latest thermal imaging and software technology solutions housed in the body of a classic daytime riflescope. In 2021, the even more advanced second-generation Thermion 2 was released, showing that the technological potential of classic scopes has not yet been fully exploited.

At present PULSAR is one of the world's leading brands of thermal imaging optical devices for the civilian market. And Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide is one of the market leaders in thermal imaging and digital night vision optical devices, able to offer and surprise market participants with solutions that the latter is just beginning to think about. And today it plans to release a new generation of optical devices that will enhance human ability to see in the dark, fog, or rain to an even greater extent.