Thales wins VASSCO contract to support air surveillance systems

6 January 2022 – The French defence ministry’s aeronautical maintenance directorate (DMAé) has awarded Thales a ten-year contract under the VASSCO programme to provide through-life support for the principal components of the national air command and control system (SCCOA). Thales’s main responsibilities include:  

  • Performance-based logistics support sustainment for the SCCOA system to meet the requirements of the French armed forces
  • Management and coordination of some 15 companies and organisations involved in logistics support for the SCOAA system, including CS Group and the French defence ministry’s military aircraft maintenance service (SIAé)
  • Provision of a 360° picture of critical systems status and through-life support planning to meet the operational needs of the French forces

SCCOA comprises more than 700 complex systems such as air defence radars, control centres, ground-air communications and information systems installed at 125 sites across mainland France and the overseas territories to detect and defeat air threats. The air command and control system plays a key role in airspace protection, enabling the French forces to conduct their missions effectively in France and in overseas theatres of operations.

The VASSCO programme is designed to meet current and future technological challenges and guarantee higher operational availability of the system. It provides the French defence ministry’s aeronautical maintenance directorate (DMAé) with three major innovations:

  • Unified logistics management. A technical and logistics platform will combine the support capabilities of government and industry to drive higher efficiency across the entire logistics support chain.
  • Optimised logistics support. Guaranteeing the efficiency of logistics support solutions is more crucial than ever. Local stocks of parts and consumables will be created at the main government sites, and a 24/7 hotline will be available to guarantee end-to-end logistics support and maintain or quickly restore operational service.
  • Data-driven logistics support. With a unified information system for operational logistics management, VASSCO will guarantee data integrity and rapid dissemination of information to all the stakeholders in the logistics support ecosystem, ensuring digital continuity and paving the way to predictive maintenance while improving operational availability and security.

“We are delighted that the DMAé has renewed its confidence in Thales with this major award. We will assume the responsibilities of VASSCO programme prime contractor for the next ten years and coordinate the entire ecosystem of government and industry partners and providers. VASSCO will guarantee higher performance of the components making up the French armed forces, which is a crucial part of France’s permanent air security presence.”Christophe Salomon, Executive Vice President Land & Air Systems, Thales