- Active Electronically Scanned Array
- Identification Friend or Foe
- Modular Data Processing Unit
The SIMMAD, the French Ministry of Defense's aeronautical equipment and support
agency, awarded Thales group a €200 million ($251
million) contract to provide logistics support for Rafale multi-role fighter.
The logistics contract will provide support for the Thales equipment installed
on the first 120 Rafales of the French armed forces over a seven-year period or
100,000 flight hours. The equipment includes RBE2 radar system, Spectra
electronic warfare system, electro-optic sensors, IFF, cockpit displays,
communications, MDPU mission computers, data-storage units and interface units.
Under this contract, Thales will also conduct repairs, replacement parts
deliveries, provide technical support and guarantee spare parts availability for
the French armed forces. In May this year, SIMMAD awarded Thales a logistics
support contract covering other fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft than the Rafale.
On 19 July 2004, DGA, French Armament Procurement Agency, awarded Thales a €85 million ($107
million) contract for development of an active antenna combat radar
demonstrator. The new technology of the radar system is also known as
electronically scanned array with active modules. The new antenna design will
increase the radar range making possible the launch of next generation
long-range air-to-air missiles such as Meteor from the 2012 horizon.
In April 2002, the DGA awarded Thales a contract to develop the first active
antenna electronically scanned array (AESA) based on the RBE2 radar. The RBE2
AESA took to the air for the first time in December 2002 installed on a Mystere
20 testbed aircraft. In April 2003, the AESA radar flew on the Rafale fighter
An antenna is said to be active if a single subassembly performs all functions
related to wave transmission as well as amplification of emitted power and
pre-amplification of returned signal. The active antenna itself consists of a
front-end of transmit/receive modules array.
The new radar technology to be developed under this program would be installed
on the Rafale beginning in 2012. It has not been disclosed whether the new technology
is meant for a new radar system or it would be used to upgrade current Rafale's
electronically scanned radar system, the RBE2. The last option seems to be more
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