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Thales-designed multi-mission system hits the targets at Castlemartin

12 September 2007

On 10 September representatives from seven overseas delegations came to Castlemartin Range in Pembrokeshire to witness tracking trials and live firings of the Multi Mission System (MMS) designed by Thales UK in Belfast. The exercise was sponsored by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the basis of an evaluation of the capabilities of the MMS and the ground-to-ground capabilities of Thales's Starstreak missile.

Tracking trials were conducted against a Hawk jet and a Lynx helicopter, clearly demonstrating the versatility of the system and in particular the accuracy of the automatic target tracking (ATT) system. This is the first time that Thales has publicly demonstrated its ATT capability.

The tracking trials were followed by two live Starstreak firings using the MMS. The first was against a pop-up helicopter target at a range of 3km; the second against a moving ground target also at 3km. On both occasions the firings were 100% successful.

Speaking after the trials Col Andy Pedder, Senior Army Adviser to the UK Defence Export Services Organisation said: "The results from the exercise were excellent. The ground-to-ground firing in particular showed the utility of the Starstreak missile, a capability that is of increasing importance in today's operating environment."

In addition, Col Andre Greef, SSO from the Republic of the South African Ground Based Air Defence programme said: "We procured Starstreak back in 2003 and I am happy to say that all training and support from the company has been first-class to date. We are now looking forward to our first firings which are scheduled for October of this year." Col Greef was observing as an interested existing Starstreak customer.

Steve Hill, Managing Director of Thales Air Systems activities in the UK says: "The results of this very successful exercise has clearly demonstrated the flexibility of the Starstreak system. We believe the system is further enhanced when integrated onto the MMS, providing military commanders with a rapid-reaction force-protection system capable of being integrated onto whatever platform the user sees fit."

About Thales

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing defence, aerospace and security markets worldwide. Thales' leading-edge technology is supported by 22,000 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. To this end, the group's civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. The group builds its growth on its unique multi-domestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with forecast 2007 revenues in excess of €12 billion.

Thales UK is a major electronics and systems group serving defence, aerospace, security and services markets. Thales employs 9,000 staff in the UK, based at more than 50 locations. In 2006 Thales UK's revenues were over £1 bn.


Press contacts:

Thales UK
Kathryn Bell
Tel: +44 (0)7813 903274

Thales Air Systems UK Communications
Denise Clarke
Tel: +44 (0)7711 428434

Thales Corporate Communications
Markus Leutert
Tel: + 33 1 57 77 86 26

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