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Thales and CS GROUP partner to offer navies a cybersecure, jam-resistant navigation system inspired by civil aviation

  • Thales, with over 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of inertial navigation systems, and CS GROUP, a specialist in smart cyberprotected mission-critical systems, have partnered to offer a complete navigation system for Navies surface ships.
  •  At the heart of this system is the Thales TopAxyz inertial navigation unit, which is integrated with CS GROUP’s real-time computer in a disruptive approach to maritime navigation that combines high-level performance and resilience in an electronic warfare environment.
  •  The new compact, high-performance maritime inertial navigation system has already demonstrated its maturity in an operational setting during its first sea trial on a military vessel.

Thales and CS GROUP have combined their complementary expertise to offer a high-performance, resilient and cybersecure navigation system. The system comprises Thales's TopAxyz inertial navigation unit, which has delivered outstanding performance in the especially rigorous conditions of civil aviation, clocking up over 20 million hours of operation. The naval version of the unit was integrated on a Navy vessel in less than a day by CS GROUP and has already proven its operational value for maritime navigation.

In today's constantly changing naval environment, crews need to contend with the threat of cyberattacks, electronic warfare activity and the high risk of jamming and spoofing of GPS-based radionavigation solutions. Accurate navigation data, real-time data distribution and resistance to external threats are crucial for every mission conducted by a naval vessel today.

Thales and CS GROUP have worked together for over 20 years to address these issues. Drawing on their combined expertise across all the key navigation system technologies, the two companies are now proposing a new approach to maritime navigation based on more trustworthy and reliable navigation data.

The TopAxyz inertial unit uses accurate, reliable navigation information that is independent of sea state and vessel location, combined with a function that detects attempts to spoof GPS signals. The navigation data calculated by TopAxyz is distributed in real time by the NDDS (Navigation Data Distribution System) developed by CS GROUP's onboard computer. This computer uses the latest technological advances in cybersecurity, guaranteeing the best level of resilience to attacks. Its architecture offers 3 key advantages: safer navigation, reduced costs and integration risks, ease of use and simplified maintenance of the system.

The new compact, high-performance maritime inertial navigation system has already demonstrated its maturity in an operational setting during its first sea trial on a military vessel. No calibration is required during the service life of the system, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership.

The system provides high-precision pointing, gyrocompass, location and navigation functionality for all types of naval platforms, from surface combatants and submarines to autonomous vehicles.

Combining complementary cutting-edge technologies from Thales and CS GROUP, this new maritime navigation system will leverage the unique capabilities of the two companies at their respective production and integration facilities in Châtellerault and Aix-en-Provence in France.

“After proving their value on board aircraft, space launchers and French Army land vehicles, Thales inertial navigation systems are now available for naval platforms,” said Tristan Grivel, Vice President Business Development and Sales for Thales’s flight avionics business. “Thales and CS Group have combined their complementary expertise to offer a navigation system that delivers the highest levels of trust, performance and security to ensure the success of naval missions.”

“CS Group is an expert in the design and integration of secure navigation systems, and has supplied real-time navigation computers, military-grade GPS receivers and other solutions to the French Navy and Naval Group for many years. This partnership with Thales allows us to offer an innovative, robust and resilient maritime inertial navigation system for surface ships,” said Gilles Rigal, Director of CS GROUP’s naval systems business line.