As a premier provider of highly-engineered, custom optical and optomechanical product solutions to leading defense contractors in the United States our in-house design, rapid prototyping, glass and metal fabrication, thin-film coating, metrology, environmental testing, and full assembly services allow us to serve as a trusted partner that minimizes supply chain risk for mission-critical programs in surveillance, soldier weaponry, hyperspectral imaging systems, and other advanced tracking systems.

Armed with ITAR registration and ISO 9001:2015 certification, as well as a dedicated program management team, government and military agencies know they can rely on JML as a domestic resource for their optics needs. Our engineering department is experienced in all phases of multiple government-driven procurements—from initial design to design for manufacture (DFM), design for cost (DFC), and design for assembly (DFA) to full production—while our environmental testing capabilities allow us to verify our products are robust and rugged enough to withstand use in the harshest environments on land, at sea, at high altitudes and in space. JML is a dependable and flexible supply chain partner that has been trusted to deliver industry-leading solutions to major government programs that continue to advance the capabilities of our military forces and keep our citizens safe at home and abroad.


In the defense and aerospace industries, there is an ever-increasing demand for solutions to increase the safety of personnel during military operations and for surveillance on land, at sea, or from the skies. One way these industries hope to fulfill this need is by increasing the amount of information available to pilots and soldiers and analysts to enable them to make decisions using the clearest and most accurate information. Optics plays a crucial role in the variety of instruments and systems used, from dual-channel visible and infrared (IR) night vision goggles to laser guidance and drone-mounted spectral imaging modules.

The optical systems used across different applications must provide the highest levels of performance in affordable, lightweight, and compact packages. For this reason, many aerospace and military agencies partner with the design engineering team at JML to leverage their deep expertise in visible and near-infrared optics to develop the right design solutions the first time around. Once designed and built, all optics or lens assemblies are rigorously tested for form, fit, and optical performance to verify their robustness, accuracy, and reliability.


Applications of Optical Components in the Defense & Aerospace Markets

Optical components and lens assemblies are essential to the function of a variety of defense and aerospace devices and systems, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Night vision goggles — Night vision goggles (NVGs) are optoelectronic devices that permit images to be produced at low light levels (i.e., near-total darkness). Images are presented to the soldier as either visible light or near-infrared. NVGs are generally used by the military and law enforcement agencies, but there is growing use in commercial and civilian security applications.
  • Weapon-mounted scopes — High-quality optical scopes have lenses with specialty coatings that allow for greater light transmission, smaller light loss due to reflection, better scratch resistance, and reduced glare, all of which translate to better optical performance. Hybrid glass and plastic optics are used to offer weight advantages while maintaining precise optical imaging performance.
  • Heads-up displays — Heads-up displays (HUDs) are devices used to show information within the user’s field of view so they do not need to look away from the usual viewpoints. Originally developed for military aviation, HUDs are commonly used in commercial aircraft, automobiles, and other commercial applications.
  • Space and satellite communication systems — Even the most advanced optical detectors in the world would be wasted in an imaging system with a poor lens. As the need for high-resolution imaging with smaller pixels, more pixels, and greater focal lengths for UAV imaging increases, so does the need for high-quality optical equipment. Lenses with lower f-numbers, tighter tolerances, and fewer aberrations are highly needed, and JML Optical is equipped to deliver some of the best optical assemblies in the market.

Examples of other aerospace and defense equipment that benefit from optical components include drone vision and other UAV imaging systems, laser guidance systems and laser range finders, periscopes and prism viewing systems, and advanced security cameras.


JML has over 50 years of experience designing and manufacturing custom optical and optomechanical product solutions for the defense and aerospace markets. Having delivered over 2,000 precision imaging lens assemblies and designed and manufactured advanced spectral imaging lens assemblies that push the limits of spectral data capture and high-resolution imaging over a large field of views in compact, rugged forms, JML has earned the trust of industry leaders time and again.

For more information on our optical design and manufacturing capabilities or how we can help you with your next project, contact us or request a quote today.

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A large defense contractor was not able to find a vendor that could consistently manufacture a critical mirror component for their product.

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