The Ministry of the Armed Forces orders 21 additional Talios optronic pods for 100 million euros

In the budget opinion he submitted at the time of the debate on the initial financing law for 2022, Deputy Jean-Jacques Ferrara reiterated that the French Air Force [armée de l’Air & de l’Espace et Aéronautique navale] were missing laser designation pods, which are essential for ground strikes and… coalition operations. A recurring problem…

If the nacelles [ou pods] “Damocles” still give satisfaction, their seniority [leur mise en service a commencé en 2003, ndlr] drop them [trop] often broken. The Atlis and PDL CTS models, used by the Mirage 2000D, are no longer adapted to today’s operational requirements: the first can only be used during the day when the quality and stability of the image and of the laser spot are of the second inadequate. In addition, their availability is declining year on year, from 54% in 2018 to just 34% three years later. Which again is not satisfactory, both for operations and for crew training.

However, the renewal of these optronic pods has started with the delivery of the first new generation of laser designation pods [PDL-NG] Talios, supplied by Thales. Since this model was qualified by the Directorate-General for Armaments [DGA], the French Air Force received thirty of the forty-six ordered. However, this effort is still insufficient… Hence the announcement of the Ministry of the Armed Forces on 5 May.

So, thanks to the “extra-budgetary resources generated by the transfer to Croatia of Rafale aircraft” [12 au total, ndlr] of the Air Force & Space Park [AAE] “, the DGA has informed Thales of the order of 21 additional Talios gondolas for 100 million euros, this amount also “additional resources for initial support”.

A total of 67 Talios gondolas will therefore be ordered to equip the Rafale F3R of the AAE and the French Navy. This order makes it possible to “exceed the original goals of the military programming law” [LPM] 2019-2025,” the Ministry of the Armed Forces argued.

As a reminder, the Talios carrycot [TArgeting Long-range Identification Optronic System – système optronique d’identification et de ciblage à longue distance] concentrates particularly powerful electro-optical and high-resolution infrared sensors. Its ability to identify, day and night, allows long-range attacks. In addition, it also provides the ability to conduct parallel strike and reconnaissance missions, transmitting the collected information in real time. Maintenance is facilitated by a predictive maintenance system [SmartFleet]†