The defence primes have been awarded a joint contract to develop electronic warfare capabilities for the French armed forces.
The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales and Airbus a contract for the delivery of a new joint tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) system.
The SIGINT system is designed to enhance the French military’s critical signals monitoring, direction finding and spectrum analysis capabilities.
As part of the 10-year contract, the three divisions of the French military will be equipped with a common information system and set of sensors.
The joint tactical SIGINT system is expected to provide French armed forces command with an expanded tactical electronic support measures (ESM) capability.
Once delivered, the system will be integrated into the electronic support vehicles of the French Army's 54th Signals Regiment (SCORPION program), the French Navy's front-line warships, and the Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft.
Thales is expected to leverage its experience developing legacy systems, including COHORTE (the current French Army tactical SIGINT system), MINREM (French Navy SIGINT system), ARCHANGE (French Air Force new-generation SIGINT aircraft), and CLOVIS (strategic inter-ministerial communications localisation project).
Meanwhile, Airbus has been tasked with leveraging its experience developing strategic ELINT systems, and its work on programs such as RAMSES (strategic radio and satellite communications information system) and PARADOS (radio signal acquisition sensor).
"As risks evolve and expand, reliable intelligence is an essential element of sovereignty and a strategic asset for operational decision-making, force protection, territorial integrity and civil security,” Marc Darmon, executive vice president, secure communications and information systems, Thales, said.
“We are proud to be taking part in this program to upgrade France's intelligence capabilities in support of front-line forces across all environments and to be helping to keep them safe and effective on their crucial mission.”
François Lombard, director of intelligence business at Airbus Defence and Space, added, "Our armed forces face an increasing number of threats and need to rely on ever expanding volumes of data.
"Combined with aerial and satellite imagery and other sources, these new electronic intelligence capabilities will make it possible to identify these threats, and above all to characterise them with significantly greater precision."