Coincidence or coincidence: the industrial sequence of Florence Parly planned this week will allow him to show how his budget irrigates the industrial fabric and preserves the employment in the armament at the time when the French advocate economies in the defense within the framework of the big debate organized by Emmanuel Macron. The Minister of Armies will first visit this Monday the Thales site in Limours (Essonne) where it has to witness the exit of the production lines of the first Sea Fire 500 radar – much more efficient than the previous one – future defense and intervention frigates (FDI, ex-FTI), and, later, the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle replacing the Arabel radar.
The electronics group has developed this new radar with four fixed panels, a range of 500 km around a warship and can monitor up to 1,000 targets (against 500 today). Thales is to produce five copies to equip the IDF, whose first two frigates will be delivered before 2025 (the first in 2023) to the Navy. This 450 million euro contract for the development and manufacture of five radars has enabled the employment of 300 people and keeps Thales in the top three of the world's top radar operators behind the Americans Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and number one in Europe.
Thales wins two contracts in space
Florence Parly does not arrive empty-handed at Thales either. The minister decided last week at a ministerial investment committee (CMI) the notification of two major contracts in the space sector in favor of the group chaired by Patrice Caine. The first € 492 million contract concerns the construction of the Syracuse 4 ground segment (three satellites, the first of which will be launched in 2020, the second in 2022 and the third in 2028). Thales will equip a receiver (an antenna) Rafale F4, Griffon armored vehicles, FDI frigates, oil tankers …
Of strategic importance for the strategic autonomy of France, the second contract of 272 million euros relates to the realization of Omega cases, satellite navigation equipment armies for Rafale, FDI frigates and Griffons including . This geolocation capability will be able to use GPS and Galileo signals, and withstand interference such as jamming. It must be remembered that Russian ships regularly jam the GPS signal in the Mediterranean Sea. These Omega cases are supposed to bring resilience to French weapon systems.
Visit of Kership and the Ufast SME
Then Florence Parly will be Friday in Concarneau (Kership) and Quimper (Ufast). At Piriou, where the joint company with Naval Group (Kership) is located, the minister will celebrate the obtaining of two important export contracts for the durability of the company: four OPVs (patrol boats), including a used one (L ' Adroit), sold to Argentina (300 million euros) and twelve mine hunters for Belgium and the Netherlands (less than 2 billion euros). It will symbolically cut the first sheet of the first Argentine OPV … even if a first block has already been manufactured.
At Ufast, a small SME of 40 people, Florence Parly will announce the acquisition of twelve protection and maritime and port defense (VPDMP) stars, intended for marines. These armored boats – a novelty – in a composite hull of about fifteen meters (13 tons) and able to sail up to 40 knots (80 km / h), will help protect the maritime port approaches of Navy vessels. Delivered from October 2019, they will equip the ports of Cherbourg, Brest, Toulon and Djibouti. The contract amounts to 12 million euros and will support 30 people full-time for three years.