Belgium chooses Thales for onboard intelligence and future data capabilities of its land forces

16 July 2019 – Further to the CaMo (Capacité Motorisée) government-to-government agreement signed by France and Belgium at the end of 2018, Thales began work on the initial CaMo capability on 26 June 2019 to provide vehicle electronics for Scorpion vehicles. The order covers 382 Griffon multi-role armoured vehicles (VBMR) and 60 Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicles (EBRC) to be supplied in partnership with Arquus and Nexter.

As the French industry leader in intelligent onboard systems, Thales will provide the comprehensive range of data capabilities needed to engage the vehicles in future data capabilities in combat. This includes common vetronics and communication systems based on the CONTACT software defined radio (called SYNAPS in export markets).

With Thales digital technologies on board, the vehicles will be ready for the collaborative combat of tomorrow.

The CaMo contract awarded by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) on behalf of Belgium includes 60 Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicles (EBRC) and 382 Griffon multi-role armoured vehicles (VBMR). As with France’s Scorpion programme, under this contract Thales is in charge of common combat vetronics, including communications, onboard computing and decision support solutions, and perimeter vision, self-protection and navigation systems. This unprecedented level of cooperation between the Belgian and French land forces is a strategic enabler for combat engagements by European armed forces.

Vehicle crews are particularly exposed to threats in the battlespace. To stay better protected and operate more effectively, they need to understand, decide and act faster than the adversary. To shorten the time it takes to detect and neutralise threats, information must therefore be shared as quickly as possible. Thales‘s digital expertise will enable the land forces to be better protected thanks to the use of the latest high-tech equipment.

As with France’s Scorpion programme, Thales will provide the comprehensive range of data capabilities needed to engage the vehicles in collaborative combat. This includes the common vetronics, which leverages onboard computing power, ties together all the navigation, protection, observation and communication systems, and provides comprehensive in-vehicle data management and data fusion capabilities. The CONTACT software defined radio (called SYNAPS in export markets) provides the real-time communications needed for the forces to operate as a network. Thales will also provide the ANTARES 360° vision system, with its integrated laser warning function and future incoming missile detection capability, to display local situation awareness on a screen inside the vehicle. The ECLIPSE new-generation active counter-IED system is built around a new-generation jammer that prevents improvised explosive devices from being detonated by remote control. Thales’s TopAxyz inertial navigation system, which will equip the Jaguar vehicles, is used to measure platform attitude and position even in the toughest operational conditions.

The systems are connected to the central information system and limit the exposure of combatants to potential threats, giving units a decisive advantage and extending their intelligence gathering and response capabilities. The fact that these information and communication systems are part of this initial capability opens up numerous possibilities for other CaMo capabilities, in that dismounted infantry would be able to exchange information securely and in real time with all other assets in the battlespace to access information from other combatants and vehicles.

The operational component of the government-level partnership includes instruction and training and the development of a capability sustainment plan.

“Thanks to Thales’s contribution to this programme, Belgium’s new vehicles will have all the latest technologies required for land combat. Thales’s expertise in vehicle digitalisation and connectivity is helping to propel Belgium’s operational capabilities forward into the future.” Marc Darmon, Executive Vice-President, Secure Communication and Information Systems.

Photo courtesy Thales