Safran Electronics & Defense has revealed new details of the Paseo XLR extended-range electro-optical sighting system selected for France’s five-ship Frégate de taille intermédiaire (FTI) frigate programme.
Naval Group contracted Safran at the end of 2017 to supply Paseo XLR for the FTI programme. Two turrets will be fitted on each ship, at an elevation of 25 m above sea level, on the panoramic sensors and intelligence mast structure to provide full 360° coverage. Sensor feeds from the system will be integrated into a ‘digital combat bridge’ located behind the ship’s bridge.
According to Safran, the Paseo XLR system is intended to provide the FTI ships with a long-range passive observation and identification capability, thus allowing the command to determine the intentions of small vessels at range and, if necessary, cue the appropriate self-defence systems.
“This requires much higher [camera] magnifications,” said Pierre-Olivier Nougues, the company’s vice-president of sales and marketing, naval key accounts. “Paseo XLR combines high-performance sensors with a design specifically engineered for the maritime environment in order to ensure superior pointing accuracy and exceptionally clear images of the environment, day or night, even in poor weather conditions.”
Paseo XLR adopts a two-axis stabilised turret derived from the DALAS (Dispositif díaide à I'Appontage au Laser) NG deck approach and landing laser system previously developed by Safran. The DALAS NG, developed as part of the mid-life modernisation of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle , has provided the basis for the Paseo XLR concept of modular design with interchangeable modules. This will allow individual line replaceable units to be exchanged without any special tools.
According to Nougues, while the identification of potential threats, particularly asymmetric targets, is the major role for the Paseo XLR on FTI, the system also offers a capability for passive detection. “In some cases you might use a passive track [from the system] to cue a self-defence missile system which does not necessarily need range information to engage.”
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes