The French defence procurement agency, DGA, has selected Thales to upgrade the command functions of the French Army and Navy as part of the SIA information system transformation program.

Under this contract, designated SIA C2, [1], Thales will replace the Army and Navy’s legacy command information systems with a single harmonized system to meet the growing need for force interoperability.

Today, interoperability within joint and coalition forces has become a key requirement. The chain of command is critically important and serves as the central nervous system for force operations. The complementary role played by land, air and naval forces in combined operations calls for closer integration of command structures and the information and communication networks that support them.

Over the next two years, SIA C2 will transform the command information systems of France’s land and naval forces by combining them into a new-generation system. SIA C2 will facilitate information exchange at all levels by delivering a set of common tools for joint forces operations, while meeting all the specific requirements of land forces command.

Legacy systems will continue to be maintained and supported until the SIA C2 system is rolled out across the two forces.

With the SIA C2 contract, Thales will demonstrate its ability to utilize state-of-the-art technology to enhance operational performance. This latest award strengthens the company’s leadership in the design and delivery of large-scale secure information system programs for defence customers in France and internationally.

SIA and French command information systems:

SICF (Système d’Information pour le Commandement des Forces) is the Army’s command information system. It has been in service with land forces at tactical levels 1 to 3 (headquarters to brigade) for more than 10 years. SICF is used on over 3,000 workstations and is deployed in remote theaters.

SIC 21 (Système d’Information et de Commandement) is the Navy’s command information system. It is currently installed on most French Navy vessels. SIC 21 is an operational information system for the command and control of naval operations in a joint forces and international context.

SIA: Evolving command structures and cost reduction targets have prompted the Ministry of Defence to streamline Army, Air Force and Naval information systems within a single system. The purpose of the SIA program is to rapidly deliver a fully tri-service operational information system.

SIA will deliver improvements on three fronts: operational efficiency, MoD organization, and technical maturity of the system.

For over 20 years, Thales has been the leading provider of information and communication systems for the French Armed Forces with the SICF (land), SIC 21 (naval) and SCCOA (air) systems.

Thales also provides information and communication systems for NATO and for Canada, Australia, Malaysia and a number of countries in the Middle East.