Thales UK today announces that it has been awarded a further four-year contract, valued at £29 million, from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to support their Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition & Reconnaissance Mission Support System (ISTAR MSS).
ISTAR MSS is a vital operational capability that provides users with mission planning, information management and information exchange in support of military air operations.
The capability of ISTAR MSS, initially developed for air-platform mission support, has been adopted by a number of units including those involved in command and control, security and intelligence. It has been described by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as “the UK’s mission support backbone that securely delivers mission critical information” to multiple users.
The flexibility and agility of ISTAR MSS enables the rapid deployment and subsequent support of multiple aircraft types and vehicles, using a fully automated data management capability that reduces MoD manpower requirements and logistic support costs.
The system is delivered through a flexible architecture that is tailored to meet the needs of the operational command structure.
MSS underpins the mission lifecycle for all air operations providing personnel at base, wing and squadron levels with all the information they need to understand and contextualise commander’s intent for their mission:
–understand the threat environment they will be operating within
–prepare to operate safely with other participants within the operational theatre
–programme onboard mission system equipment
–analyse mission success factors and sensor data
–disseminate intelligence products to other consumers
The accredited security solution at the heart of ISTAR MSS enables the system to be used by a wide range of personnel operating in a coalition environment.
Separating elements of data in complex realtime data sets, and optimising them for the user, has meant that ISTAR MSS has been employed in many recent UK operations.
Sqn Ldr Andy Coe, the MoD UK sponsor, says: “ISTAR MSS is an essential operational capability providing mission planning, information management and information exchange in support of military air operations. It is the UK’s mission support backbone that securely delivers mission critical information on a worldwide network to multiple aircraft types, command and control centres, and other MoD organisations, enabling them to plan and execute their missions in an operationally efficient, holistic environment.”
“ISTAR MSS provides capability built on operational experience and is continually evolving to meet emerging and often urgent operational needs.”
Marion Broughton, head of Thales UK’s military aerospace business says: “This latest contract demonstrates the success of our longstanding partnership with the UK MoD to meet the integrated air mission support challenges they face in all operational theatres.”
“Thales is proud to continue supporting the UK MoD in the secure delivery of mission critical information.”
Thales is a global technology leader for the defence & security and the aerospace & transport markets. In 2011 the company generated revenues of £11.4 bn (€13 bn), with 67,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.