French Army targets advanced battle management system
French information technology specialist Atos Technologies is working on the development of a multiplatform combat information system that will equip the fleet of new French Army armoured vehicles.
The company was awarded a contract by the French Ministry of Defence procurement agency (DGA) to develop the system in April 2013 as part of the SCORPION (Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’InfovalorisatiON) modernisation programme for the French Army. Its development is scheduled be completed by 2019, the company told Defence IQ. Its proposal was selected over solutions offered by Thales and Airbus Defence & Security.
The system called SICS (Système d’Information du Combat SCORPION) will be one of the main components of the Griffon multirole, Jaguar reconnaissance and combat 6x6 armoured vehicles being developed by the temporary consortium of Nexter, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales. SICS will also fit VBMR Léger (Véhicule Blindé Multi Rôle) and VBAE (Véhicule Blindé d'Aide à l'Engagement) protected vehicles, and will be integrated during the future modernisation of Nexter VBCI (Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie) 8x8 armoured carriers; and Sagem FELIN (Fantassin à Équipements et Liaisons INtégrés) warrior kit.
SICS will replace a wide range of existing battle management systems within the French Army such as SIR (Système d'Information Régimentaire), SITEL (Systeme d’Information Terminal ELementaire), SIT V1 (Système d'Information Terminal), SitComdé (Système d'Information Tactique du COMbattant DEbarqué), SITALAT (Système d'Information Terminal de l'ALAT) and MAESTRO (Module Adapté aux Échanges Sécurisés, aux Transmissions et au Raccordement des Opérationnels).
A version of the system is to be tested and deployed progressively from 2017. The SICS is based on the company's Bull BMS (Battle Management System), a single complete solution based on robust software components aimed for sharing battalion-level land and air-land combat information on the battlefield. It was designed for use by HQ staff, inside vehicle and by dismounted soldiers.
The new system can share all the tactical information available on the battlefield. The ‘blue force tracking’ (BFT) capability feature automatically updates the tactical situation via the networking of the different systems involved. With open architecture options and its ability to exchange in real time, SICS was designed for interoperability with other information systems.
The SCORPION programme will be implemented in two phases, between 2014 and 2025, and between 2023 and 2035 respectively. It is aimed at renewing the major items of equipment of the army’s Combined Arms Battlegroups, the GTIAs (Groupements Tactiques Interarmes).