Mission Airborne Solutions based on the most sophisticated techniques in Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance, allow to give to the End User the means to take the right decision at the right time. Proposed Solutions evolve now towards Systems of Systems linked together through a Network enabling new capabilities, or allowing to fill identified Capacity Gaps with the legacy assets.

Mission Aircraft are dedicated to specific military missions such as Maritime Patrol (P3C, NIMROD, ATLANTIC 2...), AEW (AWACS, EMB145 AEW), AGS (JSTARS, ASTOR...), but also, and more and more used for homeland security missions, ie maritime surveillance, border and assets surveillance. These last applications make the market in this area a growing one.
Solutions proposed are based on turbo-propellers or jets civilian aircraft equipped with high tech mission systems in terms of Sensors:
  • SAR MTI, and even GMTI
  • Maritime surveillance radars with ISAR or HSS modes
  • FLIR
  • AIS
  • High speed data links
The system also includes tactical consols presenting to the observer the situational awareness, and the identification images of the suspect target (at sea or on the ground).
Thales' expertise in techniques used in ISTAR such as data fusion, communications through SATCOM or dedicated data links (encrypted or not), tactical situational awareness, and all the sensors allows the company to propose complete solutions based on manned or unmanned platforms. Thales also manages to propose capability approaches to the customer, including simulated situations on its Battlefield Transformation Centre (BTC) and therefore to bring a really added value, by defining with its customer the best approach to fill their capability gaps with the best value for money solution.

Mission Airborne Solutions are now evolving with the Networking of manned and unmanned platforms allowing to build a system of systems "force multiplier" for the Military Forces, making those systems interoperable. Also, on non military but governmental solutions, networked systems of systems make it possible to reinforce the Security by exchanging situational data between friend countries to track as fast as possible illegal immigration, terrorists, polluting ships, piracy...

Thales is there for providing complete systems of systems solutions for Military or Governmental applications. Thales specialises in developing systems that collect and integrate intelligence for detecting enemy threats and that facilitate interoperability throughout the information chain from “sensor to shooter”.

Evolving to meet new priorities


In particular, Thales has carved out a strong position in Maritime Patrol & Surveillance and is ideally placed to provide competitive multi-platform UAV solutions for such missions, along with air-to-ground systems that optimise command and control functions in ever-more complex theatres of operation.
Thales is a leader in the field of European UAVs, in which it has unrivalled capabilities. The group provides complete ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) service with the Hermes 450 drone for the UK Armed Forces, which have been deploying this UAV in two theatres since 2007. The contract is set to run through to 2010, at which point the Watchkeeper programme, Europe’s largest UAV based ISTAR system will enter into operational service.
Thales has also teamed with Dassault Aviation, Indra and IAI to form the SDM (Système de drone MALE) solution – a complete MALE UAV system meeting operational requirements, thanks to sustained efforts in order to develop specific and critical UAV sub-systems in Europe.

Airborne Communication Suites

Key features

  • Fully Integrated Communications System
  • Full range of voice communications and tactical data links
  • NATO or National standards
  • Adaptable and configurable to any type of combat aircraft and helicopter


Main characteristics

  • Multi simultaneous voice channels
    - Tactical VHF (FF, EPM)
    - VHF ATC, VHF Maritime
    - UHF (FF, EPM)
  • Tactical Data Links
    - Link 16, Link 11/22, Link X/X16, VMF, VHF TDL

Recce systems

Key features
  • From sensor to IMINT
  • Day-night and Real-Time Recce capability at long stand-off ranges and at very low altitude and high speed
  • Real time capability based on a modern high rate data link architecture
  • Ground image exploitation
  • Fully integrated on M2000 family and Rafale
Main characteristics


  • DB-STARS as high/medium altitude digital bispectral sensor
  • Vigil 2000 as digital IRLS (Infra Red Line Scanner)
  • MPDL family with airborne terminal and ground terminal


  • Interoperable ground image exploitation (IMINT)

Sensor to shooter

Key features
  • Real-time short OODA (Observation – Orientation – Decision – Action) loop
  • Network Enabled Capability
  • Sensors, Platforms and C2 networking
  • Sensors grid, decision grid and action grid correlation
  • Unique tactical situation, cooperative engagement, battle damage assessment

Main characteristics
  • Strategic, tactical and multifunction
  • RECCE Pods, Electro-Optic turrets, …

  • High Rate Data Links
  • Tactical Data Links

Intelligence Processing

Command & Control system

Fire Control Systems
  • Laser designation, FSO, FLIR