Cannes, January 8, 2020 – Thales Alenia Space (the joint venture between Thales, 67% and Leonardo, 33%) and Thales have signed a contract with The French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction générale de l’armement) to carry out a concept study concerning intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) applications using a StratobusTM type platform to meet French army operational needs.
The aim of the contract is to study the benefits of continuous stratospheric platforms to improve and expand France’s defense capabilities. More specifically, the contract includes studies of:
- An operational concept study for an ISR mission including exercises simulating its use in theaters of operation.
- A full-scale demonstrator concept, capable of flying in the stratosphere to demonstrate the in-flight performance of an ISR mission of this type.
StratobusTM type stratospheric solutions offer two main advantages:
• It significantly increases the area monitored by a single platform, especially by eliminating terrain masking
• It offers an ability to linger over an area, thus improving resilience in relation to current naval, airborne, ground and space solutions.
“The aim of this contract is to assess the relevance of StratobusTM type continuous stratospheric solutions to meet defense needs, and also marks a major step forward in the definition of a possible operational solution in conjunction with users” said Jean-Philippe Chessel, Director of the StratobusTM product line. “It will enable us to prepare the foundations for the development of a complete solution, including high-reliability autonomous avionics, as well as all control aspects. We are aiming to carry out a flight demonstration by the end of 2023. The StratobusTM project has been supported by the French government from the outset within the scope of the Investment in the Future plan and a European regional development fund (FEDER) for the French Riviera region.”
Thales Alenia Space’s StratobusTM is an autonomous stratospheric airship in the HAPS [High Altitude Platform System] category, operating from an altitude of 20 kilometers. Offering continuous regional coverage, it’s a perfect fit with satellite solutions. StratobusTM can carry payloads for the surveillance of borders and high-value sites on the ground or at sea (such as video-surveillance of offshore platforms), as well as security (the fight against terrorism, drug-trafficking, etc.), environmental monitoring (forest fires, beach erosion, pollution, etc.) and communications (internet, 5G).
ABOUT THALES ALENIA SPACE
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of 2.5 billion euros in 2018 and has 8,000 employees in nine countries. www.thalesaleniaspace.com
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Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto). Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations — connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments.
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