Thales has announced the first flight of its new-generation Targeting Long-Range Identification Optronic System (TALIOS) laser targeting pod on a Rafale combat aircraft. The test took place at Istres on 27th July as part of the Rafale F3R programme. The prototype pod was fitted to a single-seat aircraft for a flight lasting over two hours.
This test flight collected high-quality images taken using the “day” channel, and performances in pointing and telemetry wer described as "remarkable".
Designed by Thales, TALIOS is the first optronic targeting pod to cover the entire decision chain, from intelligence gathering through to neutralization. Featuring the latest-generation high-resolution infrared and electro-optical sensors, line-of-sight stabilization, and high performance image processing, its capabilities range from deep strike with precision-guided munition, to air-to-air target identification and close air support, both during the day and at night.
The integration of the TALIOS pod, which will equip French Air Force and Navy Rafales, is a major part of the F3R standard development on the Rafale combat aircraft. The success of the first TALIOS flight on a Rafale is the second key event in its development program for 2016, following on from the first flight on the Mirage2000 test bench aircraft.
The TALIOS pod development and Rafale integration programmes run in parallel. The adjustment and performance measurement tests will continue throughout 2017. They will lead both to the qualification of the equipment and to the qualification of the F3R standard for the Rafale by mid-2018.
The French multi-year spending bill for 2014-2019 anticipates an order of 45 pods for the Air Force and the Navy, 20 of which have already been ordered from Thales by the French Defense Procurement Agency DGA. Delivery of series-produced equipment will start in 2018.