ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS) received $120 million in contracts from the Swiss defense procurement agency, ARMASUISSE, to provide the Swiss Air Force with advanced Link-16 connectivity for their fighter aircraft.
The funding represents a continuation of work by TRS on the FLORAKO command and control program. Phase VII will add voice and data transmission over an encrypted link, nation-wide Link-16 coverage, allow aircraft to acquire Link-16 information before take-off, and incorporate multifunctional information distribution system (MIDS) technology. DID has covered the significance of MIDS and Link 16 technology before; in Switzerland, MIDS technology will be especially useful for overcoming the challenges of maintaining full situational awareness at all times, even when flying aircraft within the mountainous Swiss terrain. With respect to the FLORAKO program generally…
TRS’ fully distributed FLORAKO comprises master surveillance radars, a data and communication system, a new airspace management system and new air command and control centers.
FLORAKO went into operation on Feb. 2, 2004, after successfully completing final tests and operating in parallel with the previous Swiss air defense system. It’s replacing Switzerland’s older Hughes FLORIDA with a system whose main functions include:
* Joint civil-military airspace management
* Air surveillance with multi-sensor tracking (military and civil radars)
* Sensor management
* Threat assessment
* Air mission Command and Control
Phase VII is slated for completion in late 2008. Work will be performed by ThalesRaytheonSystems employees in Fullerton and Massy, France. Swiss industry will also participate in the system’s deployment. Read corporate release.
Future upgrades to FLORAKO will integrate more real time data and to interface with more sensors and reconnaissance assets.
ThalesRaytheonSystems is an equally owned transatlantic joint venture between Raytheon Company and Thales Group, with offices in Massy Cedex, France and Fullerton, California, USA.
January 20/17: Thales will update the master radars for the Swiss Air Force in a deal worth $78.90 million. The five-year upgrade is part of a life extension project to keep the former’s FLORAKO system running until the 2030s. Thales said the project will involve development of a new radar signal and upgrading the radar’s data processing and antenna system.