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Thales to upgrade fire control system of French Navy carrier's anti-air missiles

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The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. A DCNS photo

PARIS (BNS): French defence and aerospace major Thales has won a contract to upgrade the fire control system for the anti-air missiles deployed by France's Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

Under the contract, awarded by the the Joint Armaments Cooperation Organisation (OCCAr) on behalf of the French DGA, the company will upgrade the SAAM France surface-to-air anti-missile system, which protects the Charles de Gaulle from all types of air threats and was developed and installed in the 1990s.

The upgrade will include a state-of-the-art open IT architecture and will facilitate subsequent maintenance work on the system and extend its service life.

The Thales solution is based on the CONTROLView C2 system, which provides an overall air picture, assesses threats and assigns and coordinates very short, short and medium-range weapons.

The new equipment will be installed as part of the refit planned in 2018. Work will be completed when the Charles de Gaulle returns to active service, Thales said on Jan. 6.

"This contract consolidates Thales's leadership in naval fire control systems and secures future developments on the FSAF (Future Surface-to-Air Family) programme for the French Navy's Horizon frigates as well as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. These developments could also benefit the future programme to upgrade the SAMP/T land-based medium-range air and missile defence system," the company said.

The Charles de Gaulle is France's flagship and only aircraft carrier. The 40,000 tonne nuclear-powered warship was launched in 1994 and commissioned into the Navy in 2001.

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