Thales awarded UK ISTAR MSS contract
Thales has announced that it has been awarded a further four-year contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to support its Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance Mission Support System (ISTAR MSS). The company announced the contract, valued at £29 million, 18 June, 2012.
ISTAR MSS provides the Royal Air Force (RAF) with mission planning, information management and information exchange in support of military air operations. Initially developed for air-platform mission support, the system has been adopted by a number of units including those involved in command and control, security and intelligence. According to Thales, it has been described by the RAF as ‘the first UK’s mission support backbone that securely delivers mission critical information’ to multiple users.
The ISTAR MSS is designed for flexibility, enabling the rapid deployment and subsequent support of multiple aircraft types and vehicles, using a fully automated data management capability that reduces MOD manpower requirements and logistic support costs.
The system is delivered through a flexible architecture that is tailored to meet the needs of the operational command structure.
According to the company, MSS ‘underpins the mission lifecycle for all air operations’ providing personnel at base, wing and squadron levels with all the information they need to understand and contextualise commander's intent for their mission, understand the threat environment they will be operating within, prepare to operate safely with other participants within the operational theatre, and programme onboard mission system equipment. It also allows users to analyse mission success factors and sensor data, and disseminate intelligence products to other consumers.
The accredited security solution at the heart of ISTAR MSS enables the system to be used by a wide range of personnel operating in a coalition environment. Separating elements of data in complex real time data sets, and optimising them for the user, has meant that ISTAR MSS has been employed in many recent UK operations, Thales said.
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