Thales: the DGA orders 21 additional TALIOS optronic pods

(AOF) – The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has placed a firm order with Thales for 21 additional TALIOS pods. These designation pods will equip the Rafale of the Air & Space Force as well as those of the French Navy. Since its launch, TALIOS has undergone continuous improvements, the latest of which were notified under the Rafale F4 market: permanent vision, new air-to-air identification mode, color sensor and tactical aerial reconnaissance modes. All these new capacities will be implemented with the 21 new nacelles ordered.

Deliveries will be staggered from 2024 to 2025, following on from the initial order of 46 units.​

“The new reconnaissance modes and automatic target detection and recognition algorithms of the TALIOS pods will provide the French armed forces with unprecedented operational superiority. Rafale pilots will be able to make the best decision more quickly in each key moments in their mission: to find, classify, safely engage and validate the result of firing a surface target,” said Christophe Salomon, Deputy Managing Director, Land and Air Systems, Thales.

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Key points

– First or second in electronics for civil satellites, mission systems and sensors for defence, air traffic management, data protection and SIM cards and smart payments, created in 2020;

– Revenues of €17 billion from defense & security for 54%, aerospace for 28%, digital identity and security for 19% and civil aeronautics for 7%;

– International presence, 24% for France, 29% for other European countries, 14% in Asia, 12% in North America and 9% in the Middle East;

– Business model based on 4 pillars: the strength of R&D, at 20% of sales, synergies between businesses drawn from a deep knowledge of the markets, an extensive base of digital assets and a global presence in + 50 countries ;

– Capital locked by 2 shareholders in concert, Dassault Aviation (24.63%) and the French State (25.68%), Patrice Caine being Chairman and CEO of the 16-member Board of Directors;

-Sound financial position with debt rated A-, sharply reduced to €795m compared to €6.5bn in equity.

Challenges

– Strategy to refocus on aerospace, defense & security and digital identity & security;

– Innovation strategy supported by R&D close to 20%: global ecosystem bringing together 1/3 of the workforce, with a portfolio of more than 23,000 patents, 6 hubs, 3 digital factories and 50 academic partnerships / focus on 5 digital expertise: connectivity, bid data, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, via the aI@Centech program and the TrUE AI quantum approach;

– Low carbon environmental strategy: 25% reduction in direct CO2 emissions in 2023, 50% in 2030 (vs 2018) and net zero objective in 2040 / 100% eco-designed products and services in 2023 / loan launches green / 4 priorities: environmental management, flight optimization, air traffic management, training and signalling;

– Acceleration of activities, obtaining contracts and investments in defense and security (2/3 of estimated benefits) and aerospace (15%);

– Visibility with a record order book of €34.7 billion.

Challenges

– Assessment of the impacts of tensions in supplies, particularly in space, and inflationary pressures on purchases;

– Impact of advances in avionics and biometrics with the resumption of air traffic and then R&D investments in quantum sensors, cloud security and data processing in IoT;

– 2022 objectives, order intake higher than revenue, expected to be €16.6 to €17.2 billion and an operating margin of 10.8 to 11.1%;

– Dividend of €2.56, paid with deposit and buyback of shares spread between April 2022 and March 2024.

Consolidation phase in aeronautics

The size of French players is very limited compared to that of their American competitors. Hence the need to bring these stakeholders together, thus making it possible to increase the budget allocated to research and development and to gain weight in international calls for tenders. The Aéro Partenaires investment fund was launched in 2020 to support this movement. It was created by the investment company Ace Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Tikehau Capital, with the French State, Airbus, Safran, Dassault Aviation and Thales. This fund carried out several transactions in 2021.

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Thales: the DGA orders 21 additional TALIOS optronic pods


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