Thales has successfully flown its targeting long-range identification optronic system (TALIOS) for the first time aboard a Rafale fighter aircraft.
The prototype, mounted on a single-seater aircraft, took off from the Istres base, as part of the F3R programme.
The two-hour long test flight collected high-quality images taken using the 'day' channel, and offered remarkable performances in pointing and telemetry.
TALIOS features high-resolution infrared and electro-optical sensors and is the first optronic targeting pod to cover the entire decision chain, from intelligence gathering through to neutralisation.
It has the ability to perform deep strike with precision-guided munition, air-to-air target identification and close air support,during both day and at night.
The TALIOS was also flown on the Mirage2000 test bench aircraft.
It will be integrated onto the French Air Force and Navy Rafales, as part of the F3R standard development on the Rafale combat aircraft.
Adjustment and performance measurement tests will continue throughout 2017. These tests will lead both to the qualification of the equipment and to the qualification of the F3R standard for the Rafale by mid-2018.
The Military Programming Law 2014-2019 anticipates an order of 45 pods for the Air Force and the Navy, 20 of which have already been ordered from Thales by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA).
Delivery of the mass-produced equipment is expected to begin in 2018.