Following an order placed by the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) in 2010, the Alphajets were upgraded to ICAO standards by the French Ministry of Defence's AIA aircraft maintenance service in Clermont- Ferrand, with integration of new BlueGate IFF transponders and latest-generation V/UHF radios (transmitter/receivers and command units) from Thales, after testing, qualification and acceptance by the DGA teams.
Thales's state-of-the-art BlueGate IFF (identification friend or foe) system meets latest standards and will enable the Patrouille de France Alphajets to fly in all airspace in compliance with civil and military aircraft identification regulations. The BlueGate system operates in Mode S, used by civil aviation. It can also operate in secure identification modes (mode 4 and mode 5) used by NATO forces.
The TRA 2020/RCU 605 radio combination from Thales will enable the Alphajet pilots to establish communications in compliance with the latest civil air traffic control regulations, which call for the addition of an 8.33 KHz channel in the VHF band and immunity to FM broadcasts.
"We're delighted that the Patrouille de France Alphajets are now flying with our new communication and identification system," said Hervé Derrey, Vice President of Thales's Radiocommunication Products business. "This solution will ensure the highest levels of safety and security for the Patrouille de France display team, wherever they perform."
The ceremony of the 7th of December was hosted by the Commander of the Airbase 701 Salon-de-Provence and the Director of the French Ministry of Defence's AIA aircraft maintenance service (Ateliers Industriels de l'Aéronautique) in Clermont-Ferrand. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Patrouille de France, the French defence procurement agency (DGA), the French Air Force's SIAé integrated support service and Thales.
Photos credit: copyright Thales