Thales and its partners have secured a contract to develop and integrate a secure satcom solution for large military planes in France.

The 17-year MELISSA contract was awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) as part of the SYRACUSE IV military satellite telecommunication programme.

The financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.

As agreed, Thales will deliver a high-data-rate satellite station that will connect large military aircraft under all circumstances. This stable connectivity is a key requirement of the French Air and Space Force.

According to Thales, the stations will ensure broadband connectivity across the world and withstand jamming in aggressive electromagnetic environments.

The system will be integrated into France’s Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft, locally known as Phénix. The solution will also be compatible with other aircraft such as A400M transport and AWACS surveillance planes.

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Thales Network and Infrastructure Systems vice-president Jean-Claude Schmitt said: “The DGA’s decision to equip France’s military tanker aircraft with our secure satellite communication solution is a source of great pride for the Thales teams and reflects our unique know-how and European leadership in secure, resilient satellite connectivity.

“This ultra-high performance sovereign solution will be a key asset for the French forces engaged in high-intensity conflict missions.”

Thales develops technology solutions for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets.

Last November, the company announced the launch of its latest Ground Master family radar portfolio member called GM400 Alpha. It is a 3D, long-range air surveillance radar with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.