Thales be­gins de­vel­op­ment of new­gen­er­a­tion laser des­ig­na­tion pod

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

The French de­fence pro­cure­ment agency DGA has awarded Thales with the con­tract to de­velop the new-gen­er­a­tion laser des­ig­na­tion pod (PDL NG). This lat­est mile­stone is a fol­low on from the risk re­duc­tion phase led through­out 2013 and se­ries pro­duc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin in 2018.

Thales will de­velop the PDL NG that will pro­vide the French air forces with new day/ night imag­ing and en­gage­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties in com­plex theatres of op­er­a­tions. The PDL NG will be de­signed to in­te­grate with both the Rafale and Mi­rage 2000D fighter air­craft.

The risk-re­duc­tion phase, the first step in the de­vel­op­ment of any pro­gramme, con­firmed the sys­tem’s ar­chi­tec­ture, its high level of func­tional in­te­gra­tion, re­li­a­bil­ity and the de­vel­op­ment sched­ule. The award­ing of this de­vel­op­ment con­tract con­firms the im­por­tance of op­tron­ics in fu­ture air com­bat sys­tems and ac­knowl­edges the tech­ni­cal and op­er­a­tional ex­per­tise that Thales has ac­quired on laser re­con­nais­sance and des­ig­na­tion sys­tems over the past 40 years.

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