The French defence procurement agency DGA has awarded Thales with the contract to develop the New Generation Laser Designation Pod (PDL NG). This latest milestone is a follow on from the riskreduction phase led throughout 2013 and series production is expected to begin in 2018.
Thales will develop the PDL NG that will provide the French air forces with new day/night imaging and engagement capabilities in complex theatres of operations. The PDL NG will be designed to integrate with both the Rafale and Mirage 2000D fighter aircraft.
The risk-reduction phase, the first step in the development of any programme, confirmed the system’s architecture, its high level of functional integration, reliability and the development schedule.
The awarding of this development contract confirms the importance of optronics in future air combat systems and acknowledges the technical and operational expertise that Thales has acquired on laser reconnaissance and designation systems over the past 40 years.
“Thales is proud of the confidence that the DGA and the French air force have shown in choosing us to develop this new system. The PDL NG is the result of close and constructive collaboration between specifiers, users and Thales. It will provide air forces an effective and competitive system. The award of the development contract confirms the government’s support for France’s airborne optronics sector and its engineering and industrial capabilities.” Gil Michielin, Vice-President of Thales’s optronics business
Source: Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
Date: Jan 13, 2014