France selects ENGIE-Airbus consortium for military air operations


The French Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected a consortium comprising ENGIE Ineo and Airbus Defence and Space to support the country's military air operations.

A contract to this effect was awarded by the French defence procurement agency (DGA), as part of the DESCARTES programme.

The programme aims to provide Internet-Protocol (IP) based, cross-site telephone service to allow military missions to be carried out consistently with civil air traffic control and Nato networks, Airbus stated.

"Under the contract, the consortium will deliver communications network to control the air operations of the MoD."

Airbus Defence and Space Communications, Intelligence & Security business line French business head Eric Souleres said: "As a supplier of terrestrial or satellite networks for the most modern armed forces worldwide, including those of France, the UK, Germany, Canada, the US and Nato, Airbus is proud to be participating in the DESCARTES programme.”

Under the contract, the consortium will deliver communications network to control the air operations of the MoD.

The contract covers the design, deployment and support of the operational telephone system as well as the security system which will be installed on around 60 sites in mainland France.

The DESCARTES programme seeks to upgrade all the infrastructure networks of the MoD to meet increased bandwidth, service quality as well as cyber security requirements.

The programme is designed to meet the needs of inter-ministerial initiatives and to support nuclear deterrence, joint services territorial organisation command, continuous air security and air traffic control communications.