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Thales has received a strategic study contract from the French defence procurement agency (DGA) to define the overall system architecture for future network-centric operations by the national armed forces.

Working in collaboration with COGISYS, DCNS and ThalesRaytheonSystems, the company will conduct a study that will significantly contribute to the definition of all the theatre networks to be deployed by the French military in 2020-25.

Known as ETO AGORA, the study is expected to use various networks to be deployed by 2020-25 to build operational scenarios, which will define an interconnection model that ensures effective delivery of future operational services, considering the progressive migration of these networks to IP technology.

"The French armed forces aim to have fully converged joint forces and Nato-interoperable communication networks in place by 2020-25."

Specifically, the study will define how the services currently offered by the French army’s ASTRIDE theatre network will be delivered in future, and how theatre networks will remain coherent with the COMSAT NG and COMCEPT joint forces satcom networks and the RIFAN Naval fleet network.

The study, which is conducted on behalf of the French defence procurement technical and operational analysis centre (CATOD), will also consider new technology standards for the timeframe, primarily Long Term Evolution (LTE) / 4G.

ETO AGORA will provide the French Ministry of Defense (MoD) with the factual basis required for formulation of roadmaps that will identify necessary architectural integration technologies and operational demonstrators, and also change management and modelling required for the process.

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In addition, the study will enable the MoD to identify the work needed under enhancements to existing programmes or as part of new programmes to obtain the expected and achievable capability improvements.

The French armed forces aim to have fully converged joint forces and Nato-interoperable communication networks in place by 2020-25.

Image: French military need secure, resilient networks to fulfil their critical operational and public security missions. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.