Thales has secured a contract to provide its SEARCHMASTER surveillance radar and the mission navigation system for the Albatros Maritime Surveillance and Intervention Aircraft (AVSIMAR) programme.

The contract has been awarded by Dassault Aviation and the programme aims to renew the French Navy’s fleet of maritime surveillance aircraft.

The French Navy is procuring 12 Falcon 2000LXS aircraft from Dassault Aviation under the AVSIMAR programme to replace eight Falcon 50M and five Falcon 200 Gardian aircraft.

Falcon 200 Gardian and 50M of the French Navy will be withdrawn from service between 2025 and 2030.

Thales will supply the Albatros aircraft with necessary equipment to conduct maritime surveillance and intervention operations.

The company’s equipment and systems aboard the Albatros will include the jam-resistant mission navigation system.

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This navigator will provide the aircraft’s onboard sensors with highly precise positioning data to meet operational needs in contested environments.

Thales’ solution for Dassault Aviation also includes the TopAXYZ inertial navigation system, the TopStar 100-2 military global positioning system (GPS) and the TopShield controlled radiation pattern antenna (CRPA) anti-jamming system.

Thales Defence Mission Systems executive vice-president Philippe Duhamel said: “This award validates our strategy of developing highly capable solutions for military platforms and constantly anticipating our customers’ requirements.

“Our high-performance navigation systems and our surveillance radars for special-mission aircraft, including the SEARCHMASTER radar, rely on the very latest technologies and are already in service with the armed forces.”

Thales claims that its SEARCHMASTER surveillance radar uses several advanced radar modes to provide ‘simultaneous short-range and long-range detection’ capabilities.

The radar can also detect land vehicles and track their movements.

The high-resolution imaging and advanced target detection modes of the radar will improve tactical situation awareness even in harsh environments.