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Thales to develop new sonar technology for French submarines

The development phase of France’s third generation of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines was confirmed by the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, on Friday.

The development phase of France’s third generation of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines was confirmed by the Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, on Friday.

The production of France’s new generation of nuclear-powered submarines – the SNLE 3G program – saw France’s defence materiel agency enter into an MoU with Thales to develop new sonar and data processing technology for the submarines, which is set to improve the submarine’s 3D detection capabilities.

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Specifically, Thales is expected to supply flank arrays and bow-mounted sonars, a towed linear array leveraging optical technology (ALRO), and other related equipment that form part of the sonar suite, which include intercept arrays, echo-sounders and underwater telephones. 

The new technology is set to be retro-fitted onto France’s existing second-generation SSBNs from 2025 before being rolled out onto the next generation of nuclear submarines from 2035.

“New sovereign sonar array, processing and Big Data technologies will deliver unparalleled performance for the third-generation SSBNs and will also be of benefit to the modernised Triomphant Class second-generation SSBNs.” Alexis Morel, vice-president, underwater systems, Thales noted.  

[Related: Thales wins prime contract for French Army’s SATCOM project]

Liam Garman

Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

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Liam began his career as a speech writer at New South Wales Parliament before working for world leading campaigns and research agencies in Sydney and Auckland. Throughout his career, Liam has managed and executed a range of international media and communications campaigns spanning politics, business, industrial relations and infrastructure. He’s since shifted his attention to researching and writing extensively on geopolitics and defence, specifically in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and is undertaking a Masters in Strategy and Security from UNSW Canberra.
 
Thales to develop new sonar technology for French submarines
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