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Final phase of Thales high performance phased array RBE2 radar programme

23 April 2007

Thales, European leader in electronic combat systems, is pursuing the final phase of development and production engineering for the active phased-array radar for combat aircraft.

The announcement follows the successful completion of a series of flight tests on the Mirage 2000 test-bed aircraft conducted in the first quarter of 2007 at the Cazaux test centre in Southwest France. The tests produced extremely positive results with the active phased-array radar installed on an actual aircraft, and represent a key milestone in the process of qualifying the new sensor's performance in an operational configuration.

In October 2006, the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and the industry team behind the Rafale programme agreed to a roadmap that will deliver Rafale fighters equipped with a new generation of sensors, including the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) RBE2 radar, to the French Air Force and Navy by 2012.

Thales' AESA RBE2 technology will offer new high performance radar capabilities providing a high quality combat system designed for integration into the missions systems of combat aircraft.

With its expertise in this technology, Thales has been working on and perfecting this technology over a number of years. Within its dedicated research and technology centre in France, optimised gallium arsenide T/R modules, to form the radar's antenna, have been developed in cooperation with UMS*.

Furthermore, the AESA RBE2 gives a strong operational performance, including improved detection of small targets at long range and high-quality Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging.

Tactical situations become easier to analyse with the AESA RBE2 radar - its electronic phased array gives the pilot instantaneous detection and pursuit capabilities within the front sector. The AESA RBE 2 provides the full range of radar functions required for any combat aircraft in the 21st century.

Thales expects to move into integration testing on board the Rafale in the second quarter of 2007.

Series production start-up is scheduled for late 2010.

*UMS is United Monolithic Semiconductors (UMS), the Franco-German EADS/ Thales owned company.

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 company'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 more than 20,000 high-level researchers, Thales offers a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy mission critical information systems. Thales employs 70,000 people in 50 countries and generated revenues of €10.3 billion in 2006.

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