French Navy ATL2 aircraft set for upgrade
The French Navy’s fleet of Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft are set to undergo a modernisation programme under a new contract between the French DGA, Dassault Aviation and Thales.
Fifteen ATL2 aircraft will have their mission systems updated under the programme, which aims to improve the fleet’s ability to deal with new and emerging threats under all weather conditions, both in strategic deterrence roles and in asymmetric conflicts involving quiet and stealthy submarines, high-speed craft, and land vehicles.
Next-generation technologies to be developed and integrated include a new tactical mission system and advanced sensor subsystems and display consoles. These improvements will extend the fleet’s operational service life to beyond 2030.
Dassault Aviation will be responsible for developing the core system, including the LOTI (operational software for information processing) mission software developed by DCNS; as well as for subsystems integration and the conversion of a prototype aircraft for flight testing.
Thales will develop the radar/ Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) subsystem and the latest-generation digital acoustic processing subsystem (STAN). The radar will benefit from the latest technologies based on those developed for the Rafale. The STAN subsystem will process signals from all existing and future sonobuoys, detecting targets over a wider frequency range and making it possible to counter new types of threats.
DCNS will develop the LOTI software, which will establish an overall tactical picture based on data from different sensors, and manage the deployment of torpedoes, missiles and other weapons. This collaborative system enables several operators to interact at the same time.
The development of upgraded tactical display consoles and management of full-rate aircraft upgrade operations will be conducted by the SIAé, France's integrated support service for military aircraft.
Dassault Aviation delivered the French Navy’s fleet of ATL2 aircraft during the 1990s. The aircraft are used to conduct air missions in support of France's deterrence capabilities (for the FOST strategic ocean force and its fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines) and the country's other strategic missions (knowledge, anticipation, prevention and protection) in a diverse threat environment.
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