French defence procurement agency selects Thales and Sopra Steria to expand Big Data capabilities of the armed forces

24th May 2019 Paris La Défense – The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales and Sopra Steria the contract for the second phase of the ARTEMIS* programme. ARTEMIS is an innovative 15-year partnership agreement aimed at providing a sovereign Big Data solution to keep pace with exponential growth in data volumes, transmission speeds and formats, and involves major changes in the design of information systems.

Digitalisation is gaining ground in every aspect of combat operations conducted by French forces, but the digital transformation goes well beyond what is visible on the battlefield, increasingly affecting everything from logistic support and maintenance to intelligence systems, predictive analysis, operational information and communication systems, cybersecurity, training and simulation. Thales and Sopra Steria, acting as a consortium are recognised players in Big Data and intend to support the French Ministry of the Armed Forces’ (Ministry of Defence) digital development, which is gaining pace under France’s 2019–25 defence spending plan.

Thales, in partnership with Sopra Steria, is delighted to have been selected by the DGA to implement the second phase of the innovative ARTEMIS partnership programme, which will improve the platform’s capabilities and extend its resilience and adequacy numerous more demanding end-use. As part of this build phase, the consortium Thales / Sopra Steria will notably test the solution in the areas of cybersecurity, intelligence, image processing, maintenance, soldiers’ health and maritime situational awareness. This operational demonstrator includes Big Data processing capabilities and calls for the development of specific processing algorithms and a user interface for presenting the results. It will be rolled out progressively at various operational sites. Ultimately, the platform will fulfil the needs of inter-ministerial agencies facing big data issues, including the French border agency, justice system and homeland security, and will also be available to other government agencies.

Working with an ecosystem of 80 innovative SMEs, labs and larger companies, Thales and Sopra Steria are dedicated to supporting the French Ministry of the Armed Forces’ ambitions to ensure that operators have the best information available at every decisive moment of their mission. Through this programme, the Group once again demonstrates its high-tech expertise, particularly in the areas of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.

“The award of the second phase of the ARTEMIS programme to Thales and Sopra Steria is a further proof point of the confidence the DGA has in our capabilities, and show the growing importance of Big Data in the digital transformation of the Ministry of the Armed Forces » Gérard Herby, Thales Vice President, Protection Systems.

“Building our partnership with Thales based on complementary competencies unites the dynamism of small innovative companies and the vision of two large partner firms striving towards digital sovereignty. Our past experiences give us a full knowledge of military professions but also an expertise in civil technology which is experiencing a boom of innovation.” Laurent Giovachini, Deputy General Manager, Sopra-Steria.

*Architecture de Traitement et d’Exploitation Massive de l’Information multi-Sources (architecture for very large-scale processing and exploitation of multi-source data)