Thales Delivers SSARF to UK MoD Ahead of Schedule

Thales UK has delivered the final batch of SSARF (Surveillance System and Range Finder) units to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) two months ahead of programme schedule. The final units were officially handed over on 12 January to the MoD, represented by Col Bill Pointing, Dismounted Soldier Systems (DSS) Integrated Project Team (IPT) leader.

A total of 707 SSARF units have now been built at Thales UK’s world-class optronics facility in Glasgow under the terms of a £30M contract awarded in February 2008. Despite an extremely aggressive delivery schedule, the Thales programme, engineering and manufacturing teams, all working closely with their counterparts at the MoD, have successfully concluded the prime equipment element of the contract.

The DSS Leader at the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Colonel Bill Pointing, said: “The SSARF project has been a great success; Thales and the DSS team have incorporated the experience of delivering the earlier Surveillance and Target Location System Urgent Operational Requirement into this important programme and delivered excellent kit early, which the User is already exploiting on operations.”

The SSARF units, which are the size of a large pair of binoculars and are used in a similar way, combine daylight and thermal vision with eye-safe laser range finding; embedded military Global Positioning Satellite and azimuth angular referencing provide accurate target location data for both mortar and artillery fire control. SSARF has now been deployed operationally and are providing UK troops in the field with an ultra- lightweight, compact, multi-role, night vision target locator capability.

Alex Cresswell, Thales Vice President in charge of Thales UK’s Land Defence business, said: “Delivery of the final SSARF units ahead of schedule amply demonstrates what can be achieved when companies such as Thales and the MoD work together in close co-operation. Ultimately, Thales’ goal is to provide our troops with reliable, leading edge and affordable equipment and we are delighted the SSARF units are now achieving this operationally.”

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2009 the company generated revenues of £11.5 billion (€12.9 billion), with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equip¬ment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

Thales UK employs 8,500 staff based at 40 locations. In 2009 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.5 billion.

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