Dassault Wins Order for First Two Falcon 8X SIGINT Aircraft

 In GDI, Industrial, Land, Defense, Air, Environment, Information, France

The Falcon 8X Archange to Serve the French Air Force

(Source: Dassault Aviation; issued Jan. 14, 2020)

Dassault Aviation has won a con­tract for the first two of three Falcon 8X Archange air­borne strate­gic intel­li­gence air­craft, which will be equipped with Thales’ new uni­ver­sal elec­tron­ic war­fare capa­bil­i­ty (CUGE) pay­load. (Thales image)

SAINT-CLOUD, France — On 30 December 2019, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) ordered the Archange air­borne strate­gic intel­li­gence pro­gram, com­pris­ing three Dassault Aviation Falcon 8X air­craft equipped with the Thales new-gen­er­a­tion pay­load CUGE (uni­ver­sal elec­tron­ic war­fare capa­bil­i­ty). A con­tract has been award­ed for the first two air­craft.

Dassault Aviation and the dozens of French com­pa­nies asso­ci­at­ed with the Falcon pro­grams wish to thank the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the DGA and the French Air Force for their con­fi­dence.

The required level of per­for­mance of the Archange Falcons neces­si­tates highly com­plex inte­gra­tion work, some­thing that is at the core of Dassault Aviation and Thales know-how.

“I am very proud and happy with the deci­sion of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. The Archange Falcon will serve the French forces in the same way as the Falcons 10, 200, 50, 2000, 900 and 7X are already doing it,” declared Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

“The spe­cial mis­sion Falcons pro­vide the per­fect illus­tra­tion of the dual com­pe­tences of Dassault Aviation: our civil air­craft ben­e­fit from the cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies devel­oped for our combat air­craft, which in return ben­e­fit from the indus­tri­al process­es deployed for the highly com­pet­i­tive pro­duc­tion of the Falcon air­craft.”

The tri-jet Falcon 8X is the latest addi­tion to the Falcon range. The busi­ness jet ver­sion can carry 8 pas­sen­gers and 3 crew mem­bers over a dis­tance of 6,450 nm (12,000 km). It has dig­i­tal flight con­trols which stem direct­ly from Dassault Aviation’s expe­ri­ence acquired with the Mirage 2000 and Rafale. It is equipped with an EASY dig­i­tal flight deck and the total­ly unri­valled FalconEye com­bined vision system (CVS).

Exported to more than 90 coun­tries, the Falcon air­craft are flex­i­ble and eco­nom­ic to fly. Their han­dling qual­i­ties, aero­dy­nam­ics and ver­sa­til­i­ty render them capa­ble of ful­fill­ing mis­sions that go beyond civil avi­a­tion stan­dards. They are designed by the design office that also devel­ops the Rafale and nEUROn combat air­craft.

Over the last 50 years, Dassault Aviation has cus­tomized many Falcons for pur­pos­es such as med­ical evac­u­a­tion, cargo trans­port, mar­itime sur­veil­lance, elec­tron­ic war­fare, etc. These mul­ti­role air­craft rep­re­sent about 10% of the Falcon fleet in ser­vice across the world.

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Thales and Dassault Aviation Win Contract for France’s New Strategic Airborne Intelligence Programme

(Source: Thales; issued Jan. 14, 2020)

On 30 December 2019, the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) award­ed Thales and Dassault Aviation the con­tract to equip the French Army’s future strate­gic intel­li­gence air­craft with the CUGE uni­ver­sal elec­tron­ic war­fare capa­bil­i­ty. The con­tract covers the first two air­craft on the pro­gramme. CUGE will ulti­mate­ly be deployed by three Falcon X air­craft, built by Dassault Aviation, to replace the two Transall C‑160 Gabriel air­craft in ser­vice with the French Air Force from 2025.

With the ongo­ing devel­op­ment of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies for the bat­tle­field of the future, the armed forces are in the process of enhanc­ing their intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties. In the the­atre of oper­a­tions, they need to manage ever more com­plex tac­ti­cal sit­u­a­tions in real time, deploy­ing sur­veil­lance sys­tems that enable the intel­li­gence ser­vices to make the best deci­sions in a timely fash­ion.

Thales, in part­ner­ship with Dassault Aviation, the DGA and the armed forces, has devel­oped a new gen­er­a­tion of sig­nals intel­li­gence (SIGINT) tech­nolo­gies under sev­er­al advanced study pro­grammes. Thales will pro­duce all the sen­sors for the SIGINT pay­load and inte­grate the over­all system on board Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 8X air­craft.

These new tech­nolo­gies will enable the system to detect and analyse radar and radar sig­nals simul­ta­ne­ous­ly for the first time, in par­tic­u­lar thanks to Thales’s multi-polar­i­sa­tion anten­nas and the use of its arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence tech­nolo­gies to auto­mate data pro­cess­ing.

The infor­ma­tion col­lect­ed by the sys­tems will then be analysed by mon­i­tor­ing and intel­li­gence spe­cial­ists and fed into armed forces data­bas­es. The pro­gramme also includes a ground-based train­ing plat­form. Through this new pro­gramme, the French armed forces will once again rely on Thales exper­tise to sig­nif­i­cant­ly enhance their SIGINT capa­bil­i­ties, and will gain a cru­cial advan­tage through a better under­stand­ing of the strate­gic envi­ron­ment.

“The abil­i­ty to antic­i­pate devel­op­ments is key to nation­al secu­ri­ty, and reli­able intel­li­gence is there­fore a crit­i­cal require­ment to under­stand the risks and inform oper­a­tional deci­sions. Thales, in part­ner­ship with Dassault Aviation, is proud to sup­port the French armed forces on this strate­gic pro­gramme, which will bring the coun­try new intel­li­gence capa­bil­i­ties by devel­op­ing the suc­ces­sor to the Transall Gabriel as part of Europe’s defences,” said Nadim Traboulsi, ARCHANGE pro­gramme direc­tor for Thales.

[1] Avion de Renseignement à CHArge utile de Nouvelle Genération / Intelligence air­craft with new-gen­er­a­tion pay­load

[2] Capacité uni­verselle de guerre élec­tron­ique / Universal elec­tron­ic war­fare capa­bil­i­ty.

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Source: Defense Aerospace

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