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Thales will deliver communication services to NATO in Afghanistan

04 December 2006

Thales and the NATO C3 Agency (NC3A) have signed an important amendment to the contract concerning the supply of secure communication services (voice and data) for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. For a minimum period of three years, Thales will be responsible for the provision, operation and maintenance of a complete network deployed on more than 60 points of presence in country (ISAF HQ, Regional Centres, Provincial Reconstructions Teams, Forward Support Bases, Operational Monitoring and Liaison Teams...). The system will be progressively deployed on the theatre of operations so as to back up the ISAF expansion in Afghanistan.

The first delivery of equipment is planned for the end of December 2006. The deployment and installation of the systems will begin as of January 2007 The completion of the deployment for the complete network is planned for the end of 2007.

Selected after an International Competition, Thales demonstrated the superiority of its solution which requires less satellite bandwidth while meeting the required service level. This solution will allow the ISAF to benefit from the full NATO capability in terms of communications services - voice and fax, secure and insecure - but also support to many NATO Information Systems with various levels of classification. The system will be serviced by Thales' selected highly qualified staff with the proper NATO clearance and a strong operational experience of comparable military theatres.

In the framework of this Service contract, Thales will remain the owner of all deployed equipment and will maintain it for the duration of the contract through a 24-hours/7-days permanent Help Desk based in country. On site support will be provided to the users in order to guarantee the full availability of the service.

« This contract, constructed over several months of persistent effort, is a major success that confirms the relevance of our development strategy in Defence Services that identifies NATO as a key market and aims at becoming a Mission Support Partner of our major customers », commented Laurent Maury, Vice President for Services, Thales Land & Joint Systems.

The NATO programme manager commented that this was a major milestone for NATO as it was the first major operational communications capability to be outsourced to a commercial contractor. He added that NC3A, who are representing NATO as the procurement agent and contract authority, looked forward to working with Thales in order to provide the NATO operational community with a responsive and reliable communications service.

About Thales
Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, serving defence, aerospace and security markets worldwide, supported by a comprehensive services offering. The group's civil and military businesses develop in parallel to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. Leveraging a global network of high-level researchers, Thales offers a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy critical information systems. Thales employs 60,000 people in 50 countries and generated revenues of € 10.3 billion in 2005, with a record order book of over € 20 billion.

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