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  • Global Military Communications

Thales supplies System Lifetime Extension Program (SLEP) on 13 Instrument Landing Systems (ILS)

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has underscored its confidence in Thales, awarding it a contract to upgrade 13 ILS and DME navigation systems. The current components are reaching the end of their service life, and renewal is essential to guarantee the Royal Netherlands Air Force's continued air operations.

Upgrading the current ILS and DME systems is mandatory to ensure the continuation of RNLAF flight operations in adverse weather conditions. The service life of the 13 ILS / DMEs involved will be extended to at least 2035 by replacing ILS and DME components that are likely to impact the operation due to their age. In addition, Thales will provide operational maintenance and support to ensure the highest level of service availabilities for the next 12 years.

Thales is asserting its position as a partner of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, helping to meet its navigation aid requirements, in particular within the framework of the NATO security mandate. Backed by years of experience and having already supplied 10,000 systems to 170 countries, Thales offers high-performance, reliable navigation aid equipment. With advanced and secure functionalities designed to shape the future of military aviation, Thales' navigation aid innovations and solutions not only comply with all mandatory regulations, but either meet or exceed the requirements of the Royal Netherlands Air Forces.

ILS, Instrument Landing System, is a Thales system that guarantees a precision-guided approach and ensures a safe landing. It is suitable for all situations, including at night or under poor visibility and adverse weather conditions. The ILS can be offered in fixed and deployable configurations, for both civil and military applications. The fixed systems will ensure the smooth running of Royal Netherlands Air Force operations at the Dutch Air bases. The deployable version of the ILS has been in service with the US Air Force since 2015.

DME, Distance Measuring Equipment, is used to provide en-route and approach guidance, and tells pilots how far their aircraft is flying from the ground station concerned.

“The ILS and DME systems provide precise guidance to aircraft on final approach in low visibility or low ceiling weather conditions, which is essential for airmen to complete their mission safely. With Thales, RNLAF has made the choice of the most advanced ILS and DME technologies available on the market to equip their air bases and to ensure their operational capabilities at all times and in all weather conditions, so that they can fulfill their national defense missions in compliance with NATO mandate”. Kais Mnif, Navigation and Non-Radar Surveillance Segment General Manager - Thales.

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