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Thales's autopilot solutions for forwardfit and retrofit integration for civil and military airplane

Thales offers innovative autopilot solutions, certified by both the FAA and EASA, and flying all around the world today on various platforms. Thales’s solution and architecture is adaptable to any aircraft design: commercial, regional, military, business jets, helicopter and drones.


From equipment and software to end-to-end system

Our scope of solutions includes single equipment to end-to-end autopilot system as well as software solution which can be installed on existing computing device.
It includes:

  • Autopilot software application that implements several functions: stabilization and control, guidance modes, auto throttle, etc;
  • Control panels;
  • Auto throttle assembly;
  • Actuators;
  • Probes and sensors;
  • Computing device.

Thales autopilot main key features

  • Certified with TSO/ETSO, DAL A;
  • Precision Approach modes up to ILS CATIIIB and including steep approach;
  • Non Precision Approach modes: LNAV, LNAV/VNAV, RNP-AR 0.3, LPV, GLS
  • Protection: flight envelope, Alpha floor, speed protection, windshear escape guidance, TCAS/TAWS AP coupling, sensor single source;         
  • Auto throttle / Auto thrust (Thrust Quadrant Assembly included);
  • Military modes including terrain following.

Autopilot efficient development

Thales offers certified processes and tools, including early validation and agile methods, to ensure on-time development and reduced risk. The powerful capability to fine tune the autopilot control laws significantly shortens the test campaign.

Ability to add functions on existing autopilots

Thales can upgrade any fleet of legacy aircraft, providing additional capabilities such as: 

  • LPV capability;
  • Search & Rescue capability: search patterns, flexible approach to a point, position hold, etc.

Installation airworthiness qualification and certification

Thales is an active member of the Air Weather Operations Harmonization Aviation Rule Making Committee (AWOH ARC), established by the FAA, as a joint effort between FAA, EASA and industry and other aviation entities to provide recommendations to government. Through this committee, Thales participates to most recent regulation development regarding AWO operation based on emerging technology such as GLS, EVS and SVS.

Main references

Since the very first autopilot development for the Concorde supersonic aircraft 60 years ago, Thales (named Sfena at that time) built a strong expertise in this domain with civil and military programs worldwide, including state-of-the-art 4-axis duplex helicopter AFCS, certified for single pilot IFR, SAR, and more. Today, Thales autopilots cumulate billions of flight hours with outstanding customer satisfaction level.

Onboard major platforms

Airbus A300/A320/A330 families, ATR 42/72-600, BAE Nimrod, Bombardier DH8-400, Dassault Mirage 2000 and SEM, EADS-Casa 295, Indian Air Force Jaguar, Sogerma C130, Sukhoï Superjet Jet 100, Leonardo Helicopters A109, Bell 206, Airbus Helicopters Tiger, Sikorsky S-76D and Sea King.