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Thales wins major French communications contract

Thales has been selected as the prime contractor for increment 3 of the French Army's communications network programme.

The French defence procurement agency, Direction générale de l'armement (DGA), has awarded a EUR720 million (USD758.8 million) contract to Thales for increment 3 of the satellite and radio transmission access operation to the area network and the battlespace intranet (ASTRIDE) programme, the DGA announced on 1 December.

ASTRIDE “enables high-speed, intelligent, and resilient networking of army command posts, from the theatre joint command post to the combined arms battlegroups”, the DGA said. 

For increment 3, Thales will help to renovate the military's theatre network, which is based on systems that entered service between 2000 and 2014. This will involve switching the entire network over to Internet Protocol (IP) and developing a microwave-based mesh, which will improve resiliency and throughput, the DGA added.

As part of ASTRIDE 3, a deployable communications network for theatre-based operations will be built with more than 200 modular mobile stations, the company announced. In turn, enabling a mobile and secure command infrastructure for deployment in a wide range of tactical situations, the company added.

This will involve delivering 15 ft shelters for the Renault GBC 180 all-terrain truck, which will accompany mobile units and integrated kits on Serval armoured vehicles as well as a number of 20 ft shelters and stations, the DGA said. In total, 164 new stations and 42 renovated stations will be delivered to the army’s signal regiments between 2024 and 2029, the DGA added.

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