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will be able to perform the tactical reconnaissance missions currently assigned to the Mirage F1CR, which is due to be withdrawn from service at around the same time.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.