Innovation lies at the heart of the Thales offering at Eurosatory 2016 in Paris this week. But innovation does not necessarily lie only in new products or new technologies: sometimes harnessing existing capabilities and drawing greater added value from them also serves the best interests sof supplier and user alike.
Already boasting a wide range of capabilities in sensors, data fusion and weapon systems, Thales has been briefing visitors on its capabilities in countering attacks on friendly forces from rockets, artillery and missiles. Relying on expertise in data fusion and secure transmission to provide almost instant recognition and location of such an attack brings immense advantage to friendly forces, says Denis Laplane, the company’s business development manager for air defence.
“What we have set out to do here is to integrate existing products into an air defence architecture,” says Laplane. He points to sensors such as the Ground Master 60 and 200 radars or the COBRA counter battery radar as being able to provide rapid and accurate location data in real time, which can then be passed to – for example – a CONTROLView command and control centre or an ATLAS fire control coordination centre. Linked to weapon systems such as the VT1 or even to platform-launched ordnance such as the Fury loitering munition (previously known as the Freefall LMM), the Thales approach can be linked to audible and other warning system networks. The Ground Alerter 10, used with great satisfaction by French forces in Afghanistan, he adds, provides an excellent example of the way in which the company can harness disparate capabilities from across the corporation to generate greater added value for users.
The system as proposed by Thales is platform agnostic: it does not necessarily depend on specific Thales equipment being integrated into the air defence architecture. But third party systems will at least need to have similar generic capabilities in order to be able to take full advantage of potential system performance, Laplane adds.