The French defense procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales the ASTRIDE 3 contract for the design of deployable and high-speed communications networks for theaters of operations, a major asset for collaborative combat.
Thales will work with several partners to deliver a high-speed, mobile and secure command infrastructure for deployment in a wide range of tactical situations.
After decades of asymmetric engagements, armed forces now face new types of high intensity conflict that underscore the importance of resilience, discretion and mobility of theater networks and command posts. According to Thales, forces engaged in disputed areas are also increasingly reliant on the capacity to share data between multiple sensors and effectors for collaborative combat operations and to support multi-site, multi-domain collaboration for collaborative command of allied units.
ASTRIDE 3 aims to meet all these requirements by integrating new connectivity systems such as latest-generation satellite terminals (SYRACUSE IV), High-Capacity Line-Of-Sight (HCLOS) communications, tactical software-defined radios (CONTACT) and digital wireless services (LTE technology).
Thales believes these assets will interconnect the battlespace and provide a resilient network of connected command posts from theater level down to tactical units. ASTRIDE 3 could also offer defense cloud hosting capabilities to meet the needs of collaborative command structures and support a broader Computer Network Defense (CND) initiative to deal with cyber threats.
The integrated, automated ASTRIDE 3 stations will accelerate and simplify maneuvers in the theater of operations, enabling forces to deploy different versions of the station – hardened container, shelter (transport cases) or pre-integrated in armored vehicles in the SCORPION ecosystem – to adapt to an extremely wide range of tactical situations. Wireless connections will shorten command post deployment times by significantly reducing the number of manual operations required. In addition, the network planning, command and supervision tools MOSART will give land forces agility in adapting to the tempo of their mission.
ASTRIDE 3 stations will meet the latest Federated Mission Network interoperability standards and enable France to act as a framework nation for forces command at Land Component Command (LCC) or Division level.
Thales’ sites in Cholet (Pays de la Loire) and Gennevilliers (Ile-De-France), as well as those of numerous French technology partners and SMEs, contribute to both the development and production of the physical and software components of the ASTRIDE 3 system.
“Thales is proud, once again, to be supporting French land forces in their digital transformation by providing a high-speed, mobile and secure command infrastructure that can be deployed in an extremely wide range of tactical situations,” said Marc Darmon, Executive Vice President, Secure Communications and Information Systems, Thales. “Phase 3 of the ASTRIDE program is a further step towards collaborative combat, positioning connectivity and the land forces combat cloud at the heart of high-intensity warfare.”