As part of the DESCARTES program to upgrade all French Ministry of Defense (MoD) data and telephony infrastructure networks, the French Defense Procurement and Technology Agency (DGA) has awarded Thales two key contracts: the upgrade of the SOCRATE resilient network, and deployment of the POINCARE network to interconnect MoD sites in metropolitan France and overseas.
A resilient network is essential for national sovereignty, providing the Ministry of Defense with the independence it needs for critical communications and decision-making.
Under the contract to upgrade the SOCRATE network, which is a core component of the infrastructure, Thales will provide a highly resilient and scalable high-data-rate network incorporating the latest technological advances and designed to cope with the growing number and severity of cyberthreats.
The upgraded network will interconnect over 250,000 users at more than 100 strategic sites, including Hexagone-Balard, the new Ministry of Defense headquarters in Paris. The project will ensure continuity of the French military’s most important operational missions, from nuclear deterrence to joint forces command and the country’s permanent air security presence.
The contract is a further endorsement of Thales’s unique ability to design, deploy and maintain the most critical communication systems. Comprising 270 routers, 10,000 km of fiber-optic cable and more than 100 pieces of high-capacity optical equipment, the network will also incorporate the Nexium View solution from Thales. Nexium View will enable the Ministry of Defense’s IT and communications agency (DIRISI) to supervise all aspects of the network in real-time, respond faster to incidents and anticipate their impact on operations.
Thales has also been awarded the POINCARE contract, in partnership with NextiraOne, to securely interconnect the Ministry of Defense’s 1,200 sites in mainland France and overseas.
Deliveries under the SOCRATE upgrade contract will begin in 2017 and will continue until 2021. Rollout of the POINCARE network will be completed in 2018. The Thales solutions deployed for the DESCARTES program are designed to meet the demands from governments, international organizations and critical infrastructure operators for secure, resilient high-data-rate networks and interconnections that are fully scalable and supervised in real-time.
“This upgrade of the French MoD’s telecommunication networks is a perfect illustration of Thales’s expertise in technological innovation and ability to deploy a resilient network with the highest levels of performance and security,” said Marc Darmon, Executive Vice President, Secure Communication and Information Systems, Thales.