On exhibit for the first time in the Thales pavilion is a complete Amascos system. This is the French company’s maritime surveillance mission system, and this is a booming market, according to Pierre Eric Pommelet, Thales executive vice-president of defense mission systems.
The fully integrated Amascos system has reduced weight and power requirements compared to older systems, Thales claims. It ties together radar, Elint, electronic warfare, optronic and acoustic sensors, as well as communications systems and tactical datalinks. Amascos has a modular architecture that enables it to be adapted to smaller aircraft doing surveillance from a single console only, to large aircraft for the anti-surface and anti-submarine missions, which will have four or five consoles. Each console position has two screens that are redundant and interchangeable. The system can be reconfigured during a mission, if the tactical coordinator desires, and this means the aircraft can stay airborne for longer, resulting in a potentially smaller fleet.
“We are masters of most sensors, and we are also strong in maritime C2 architecture, where 50 navies already use our Tacticos system,” Pommelet told AIN. But Thales will adapt Amascos to work with any sensor that a customer specifies, which is more likely to be in the communications and Elint domain, he added.
The company is also platform-agnostic. To date, Amascos has been integrated on Airbus Military CN235s (Indonesia and Turkey); Alenia ATR 72s (Turkey); Beechcraft King Airs (Malaysia); Bombardier Dash 8s (UAE Air Force); Dassault Falcon 900s (Japan); and Gulfstream IVs (Turkey). The Turkish ATR 72 contract is currently underway, having recently been adjusted from ten ATR 72-500s to the latest glass-cockpit and more powerful ATR 72-600 version, two of which will be basic utility aircraft followed by six multi-role, torpedo-armed aircraft. They are being modified by Turkish Aerospace Industries in a program named KMeltem 3 by the Turks. Sensors include Thales’s own Ocean Master radar and optronics from local company Aselsan.
Dassault is currently marketing the Falcon 2000 as a maritime recon aircraft–an example is on display here–with the Amascos system. The two French companies are also working together on a further upgrade of the French Navy’s ATL2 that was previewed in the recent French defense white paper. “We expect to get the work,” said Pommelet.