The French defence procurement agency Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) has selected Sagem (Safran) to upgrade the optronic systems installed aboard the French Navy's Horizon-class anti-air warfare (AAW) vessels and Cassard-class anti-aircraft ships.
Under the contract, Sagem will equip the French Navy's four vessels, including two Horizon-class and two Cassard-class vessels, with new-generation electro-optical multifunction system (EOMS-NG).
The contract scope also includes complete maintenance of all systems, including spares and the production of a simulation system, delivered over a period of three years, to train operators at the Naval Instruction Center in Saint-Mandrier.
Sagem-developed EOMS-NG is a high-performance, third-generation optronic (electro-optical) system designed to offer panoramic infrared surveillance, reconnaissance, identification and tracking.
Capable of being controlled from Sagem consoles located at the operations centre and the close air defence bridge, the EOMS-NG can operate at sea or in coastal areas, day or night, and against all types of threats, whether surface, air or missiles, and conventional or asymmetric.
Designed for surface vessels, the optronic system features infrared search-and-track (IRST) with electro-optical gun fire control in a single unit and is highly effective for self-protection against symmetrical and asymmetrical, surface or air threats.
The EOMS NG can be integrated into any analogue or digital fire control system. It also provides detection, identification, and gun engagement of all surface and air targets, from anti-ship sea-skimming missiles to fast incoming attack craft (FIAC).
Work under the contract will be conducted by the company at Dijon plant, while the EOMS-NG systems are scheduled to be delivered to the French Navy between mid-2014 and late-2015.
An infrared surveillance version of the EOMS-NG, VAMPIR-NG will be deployed aboard Anzac-class vessel for Australia and New Zealand, as well as on to the Royal Australia Navy's aircraft carriers and air warfare destroyers.
Image: The French Navy's Horizon-class vessel, Forbin (D620), conducting mission at sea. Photo: courtesy of US Navy, by mass communication specialist 2nd class Rafael Figueroa Medina/Released.