Thales and Airbus have secured a contract from the French defence procurement agency (DGA) to upgrade joint electronic warfare capabilities of the armed forces.

Under the ten-year contract, Thales and Airbus will provide a new joint tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) system.

The system will update the French forces’ capabilities in critical signals monitoring, direction-finding, as well as spectrum analysis.

Thales Secure Communications and Information Systems executive vice-president Marc Darmon said: “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.”

Under France’s defence spending plan, the contract is designated a high-impact programme (PEM1), alongside CONTACT and SCORPION.

This ‘joint tactical SIGINT system’ will expand tactical ‘electronic support measures’ capability, monitor and localise enemy communications and ‘support tactical manoeuvres in the theatre of operations’.

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By GlobalData

The contract will see all the three branches of the armed forces being equipped with a common information system and set of sensors.

The system can be deployed on military operations overseas to safeguard airbases.

In addition, it will be fielded to the French Army’s 54th Signals Regiment’s (SCORPION programme) electronic support vehicles and front-line warships and the Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft the French Navy.

Airbus Defence and Space Intelligence business director François Lombard said: “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.”