The French defense procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales a 42-month contract to conduct a set of studies and technological developments for a sonar system to be equipped on France’s future third-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SNLE 3G).
These developments take into account current and future threat environment and support Thales's efforts to complete design and qualification of a large antenna system and related processing capabilities made possible by advances in algorithms and the digital revolution.
This new research and development program builds on the results of studies launched under France’s two previous defense spending plans.
It will include final validation of the fourth-generation flank arrays and the development of a new sonar interceptor, with latest-generation adaptive antenna processing and threat classification algorithms as well as an innovative bow mounted antenna concept.
The contract follows an award announced in 2016 to develop the ALRO towed linear array based on optical technology. It further consolidates Thales’s leadership in underwater systems and expands the company’s involvement in major French naval defense programs, such as the SNLE 2G second-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), Rubis and Barracuda class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SNA), FREMM multi-mission frigates, the ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft upgrade and the SLAM-F mine countermeasures program.
This latest award strengthens France's naval defense technological and industrial base through Thales and its program partners and reflects the priorities of France’s 2017 strategic review of defense and national security, which recognizes the need for a technologically advanced underwater defense capability.
Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transport, Defense and Security markets. Thanks to its 64,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales recorded sales of €14.9 billion in 2016. With over 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its unique international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world.