Smart connectivity for airborne operations

In the field of defence communications, customers come to Thales with big ambitions.

For more than a century, we have developed the latest and most capable communication solutions to meet their needs. Today, only Thales solutions are able to consistently deliver the security and interoperability that armed forces require — in the air, on land, at sea and in cyberspace.

In the joint coalition operations conducted by our military customers, information superiority and the ability to control the operational tempo are critical to mission success. Smart connectivity solutions from Thales can bring the benefits of a data-driven world within reach of modern armed forces.

Most of today's operations are joint engagements conducted either as part of a coalition with allies in the same theatre, or operations at home, where a huge variety of different threats are involved.

All the actors and platforms deployed in the field are equipped with sensors that are increasingly capable and sophisticated and provide valuable information. But current connectivity solutions are becoming saturated and there is a growing problem of interoperability between the different types of data.

The challenge is being able to share and use these growing volumes of rich data in real time across a kind of tactical internet. For airborne operations, Thales proposes to meet that challenge by moving from connectivity to smart connectivity.

The functionality of a smartphone at our fingertips

Imagine that everyone — every pilot, every infantry soldier — had the functionality of a smartphone at their fingertips:

  • quick and easy access to all types of voice and data applications
  • pop-up alerts when relevant information becomes available for download

This is what smart connectivity is all about. It's about bringing the armed forces the kind of intelligence used by the most powerful search engines on the web.

High-performance communication solutions

To be effective, smart connectivity relies on high-performance communication solutions — not only the ones we have today, but new technologies like 5G for commercial telecoms, which open up completely new opportunities.

Thales is focusing on three of these solutions.

  1. AirPower, which is a secure, high-data-rate communication solution based on the new SYNAPS/CONTACT software-defined radio being developed by Thales with the support of the French defence ministry and will open up new possibilities for collaborative combat.
  2. Miniaturised high-data-rate transmission solutions, easily deployable by any type of air or surface platform, which will help raise the tempo of operations by providing all the players enhanced local tactical awareness in real time before a final engagement.
  3. And latest-generation satcom solutions, which guarantee secure, sovereign, broadband connectivity services for all players, from submarines and combat aircraft to troops on the ground, wherever they are and whenever they need it.

These innovative solutions offer a host of operational benefits. In an era of smart connectivity, they can be powerful force multipliers that raise the tempo of operations and guarantee information superiority.

In the modern battlespace, where every connected player is a sensor, smart connectivity solutions turn this new reality into an operational advantage. They draw on Thales's unique breadth of expertise and the latest digital innovations to make tomorrow possible today. Whatever it takes.