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Thales and Dassault Aviation to strengthen France's SIGINT capabilities

15th January 2020 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Thales and Dassault Aviation have been awarded a contract by the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) to equip the French Army's future strategic intelligence aircraft with the CUGE universal EW capability.

CUGE will equip the first two Falcon X aircraft that are to be built by Dassault Aviation. Three aircraft are set to enter service with the French Air Force from 2025 to replace two Transall C-160 Gabriel aircraft currently in service.

CUGE forms part of France’s ARCHANGE programme which aims to strengthen France's signals intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities. This includes enabling users to manage ever more complex tactical situations in real time on the battlefield, deploying surveillance systems that enable the intelligence services to make the best decisions in a timely fashion.

Thales – in partnership with Dassault Aviation, the DGA and the armed forces – has developed a new generation of SIGINT technologies under several advanced study programmes. Thales will produce all the sensors for the SIGINT payload and integrate the overall system on board Dassault Aviation's Falcon 8X aircraft.

These new technologies will enable the system to detect and analyse radar and radar signals simultaneously for the first time, using Thales' multi-polarisation antennas and AI technologies to automate data processing.

The information collected by the systems will then be analysed by monitoring and intelligence specialists and fed into armed force databases. The programme also includes a ground-based training platform.

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