SAINT-CLOUD, France. Dassault Aviation in Saint-Cloud, France, won a contract from the French Ministry of the Armed Forces (Ministre des Armées) to integrate on three Falcon multi-role business jet (bizjet) aircraft the Universal Electronic Warfare Capability developed by Thales, under the Epicure program, in La Defense, France. The Epicure Falcon is described as France’s future spy planes.
This new program will strengthen electronic intelligence capabilities and help the French Armed Forces perform strategic information gathering functions to better anticipate eventualities, Thales officials say.
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The contract award by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the Defense Procurement Agency (DGA), and the French Air Force involves Dassault Aviation, Thales, and dozens of French companies associated with the Falcon programs.
The Universal Electronic Warfare Capability is known as the Capacité Universelle de Guerre Electronique or CUGE. The Universal Electronic Warfare Capability payload will intercept radio and radar signals simultaneously.
The required level of performance of the Epicure Falcons necessitates highly complex integration work, something that is at the core of Dassault Aviation know-how, of its role as industrial architect, and of its partnership with Thales, Dassault officials say.
“The Falcon Epicure will serve the French forces in the same way as the Falcons 10, 200, 50, 2000, 900, and 7X are already doing it,” declares Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO, of Dassault Aviation. The military Falcons provide the perfect illustration of the dual competences of Dassault Aviation: our civil aircraft benefit from the cutting-edge technologies developed for our combat aircraft, which in return benefit from the industrial processes deployed for the highly competitive production of the Falcon aircraft.”
The growing importance of digital technologies is a tremendous opportunity for Thales to boost its capacity for innovation through advanced systems that leverage the power of big data, autonomous systems, and immersive user experiences, Thales officials say. With its expertise in the four key digital technologies - platform connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity - Thales has a key role to play in these developments. This expertise underpins Thales's capacity to develop the future sensors that will equip Dassault Aviation's Falcon Epicure aircraft, they say.
Exported to more than 90 countries, the Falcon aircraft are flexible and economic to fly. Their handling qualities, aerodynamics, and versatility render them capable of fulfilling missions that go beyond civil aviation standards. They are designed by the design office that also develops the Mirage, Rafale, and nEUROn combat aircraft. Over the last 50 years, Dassault Aviation has customized many Falcons for purposes such as medical evacuation, cargo transport, maritime surveillance, etc. These multirole aircraft represent about 10 percent of the Falcon fleet in service across the world.
With over 10,000 military and civil aircraft delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale, and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter, to the high-end Falcon family of business jets, and military drones. In 2016, Dassault Aviation reported revenues of €3.6 billion. The company has 12,000 employees.