by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.
During Dubai Airshow 2017, held from November 12-16, Thales and the UAE armed forces announced their intention to sign a contract to modernize the UAE Air Force’s Dassault Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets. Under the potential contract, Thales would upgrade the Mirages’ complete electronics package, including mission computers; fire control radars; electronic warfare suites; optronics systems; communications, navigation, and identification systems; cockpit displays; and helmet-mounted displays.
While no particular equipment was specified in the announcement, Forecast International believes with reasonable certainty that the radar and optronics involved will be the RDY-3 fire control radar and the new TALIOS electro-optical targeting pod, both manufactured by Thales.
The RDY-3 radar is the latest iteration of the RDM/RDY series of radars that have equipped Mirage fighters throughout their life. Notably selected by the Indian Air Force for its Mirage 2000 upgrade program, the X-band radar has been popular in recent Mirage upgrades. It represents the technological pinnacle of Thales’ current radar offerings for the Mirage.
While the RDY-3 has been in operation for several years, the TALIOS targeting pod is still in its developmental phase. However, TALIOS development is nearing completion and the pod will soon enter production.
The TALIOS was designed to replace the Damocles pod that currently equips many Dassault Mirage and Rafale aircraft. TALIOS risk-reduction work began under a contract awarded at the beginning of 2013, and the pod is currently in flight testing. Line production is expected to begin in 2018.
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Forecast International’s Electronic Systems Market Intelligence Services provides full reports on the ALQ-99 and the NGJ. The Platinum Forecast System adds deeper, hourly-updated access to funding and production forecasts, as well as the system level reports. An updated report on the ALQ-99 program was released in the March Airborne Electronics Forecast supplement.