Thales to adapt ASTAC reconnaissance pods for Mirage 2000D

Neuil­ly (France) – The French defence pro­cure­ment agency (DGA) has award­ed Thales a con­tract to adapt ASTAC tac­ti­cal recon­nais­sance pods for the Mirage 2000D. When the oper­a­tion is com­plete in 2014, France’s Mirage 2000D fleet will be able to per­form the tac­ti­cal recon­nais­sance mis­sions cur­rent­ly assigned to the Mirage F1CR, which is due to be with­drawn from ser­vice at around the same time.

The con­tract includes all the mod­i­fi­ca­tions required to inter­face the ASTAC pods with the Mirage 2000D, includ­ing adap­ta­tion to the plat­form and adjust­ments to the coun­ter­mea­sures sys­tems housed inside the pod. 

The ASTAC pod was designed to be car­ried under the fuse­lage of F4 Phan­tom, Mirage F1 and Mirage 2000 com­bat air­craft to pro­vide an elec­tron­ic intel­li­gence (ELINT) and tac­ti­cal recon­nais­sance capa­bil­i­ty, includ­ing updat­ing the over­all sit­u­a­tion and gen­er­at­ing the elec­tron­ic order of battle. 

Designed to oper­ate in dense elec­tro­mag­net­ic envi­ron­ments, the ASTAC pod offers high-pre­ci­sion direc­tion of arrival esti­ma­tion and uses sophis­ti­cat­ed algo­rithms to deter­mine the loca­tion of the sig­nals inter­cept­ed. Key para­me­ters of sig­nal sources are mea­sured with high pre­ci­sion in any elec­tro­mag­net­ic envi­ron­ment, irre­spec­tive of the trans­mis­sion tech­niques employed. 

The ASTAC pod has been deployed on many occa­sions in dif­fer­ent the­atres of oper­a­tions. Dur­ing Oper­a­tion Har­mat­tan in Libya, for exam­ple, it was car­ried by French Air Force Mirage F1CRs and once again demon­strat­ed its key con­tri­bu­tion to the intel­li­gence gath­er­ing capa­bil­i­ty that was crit­i­cal to mis­sion success. 


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