TRS to Upgrade French Air Force Ground Radars
By PIERRE TRAN – France awarded ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS) at the end of December a 70 million euro ($84.5 million) contract to upgrade 10 ground radars as part of the French Air Force’s SCCOA integrated air command-and-control system, the joint venture company said June 14.
TRS is a joint venture between Thales and Raytheon, based in Massy, France, and Fullerton, Calif.
Under the contract with the Direction Générale pour l’Armement (DGA) procurement office, four high-altitude TRS 22XX and six medium-altitude TRS 2215 radars will undergo a midlife upgrade that gives them 3D capability and allows compliance with European Union regulations on electromagnetic emissions.
TRS also sees potential midlife upgrade contracts with two or three other countries on this type of radar.
“This is important because we are introducing new technology into these radars that go towards the GM400 new radar,” said Franck Hébert, TRS director of support and services said.
The work consists of inserting technology developed for the new-generation Ground Master (GM) radars to extend the life of the existing equipment to 2025.
That is also seen as preparing for the potential purchase of the GM series when the French authorities decide on replacement of the current radars.
TRS expects to spend two years on development and up to a further three years installing the technology modules.
The contract follows work by the French Air Force to identify which radars should be kept in service and which replaced. Details of the total installed stock of radars were not immediately available.
“This contract is a first step towards improving France’s radar detection capability planned as part of SCCOA 4, the fourth stage of France’s air command and control system,” said Philippe Duhamel, Chief Executive of ThalesRaytheonSystems’ French operations.
The French government moved to the fourth stage of Système de Commandement et de Conduite des Opérations Aériennes (SCCOA) as part of a planned treatment of radar obsolescence and to comply with the latest EU regulations.
The prime contractor for SCCOA is a 50/50 joint venture between EADS and Thales, called MOSS SAS. Systems integrator CS group is an industrial partner to the joint venture.
SCCOA consists of a network of radars and high speed datalinks, with the air operations command center in Lyon, central France.