The France Ministry of the Armies decided to launch the production of the ARCHANGE (Avions de Renseignement à CHArge utile de Nouvelle GEnération or Intelligence Aircraft with New-Generation Payload) program, which will equip strategic intelligence aircraft with a Universal Electronic Warfare Capability (CUGE in French). Led by the Directorate General of Armament (DGA), ARCHANGE aims to strengthen electromagnetic intelligence capabilities, including interception of radio and radar emissions.
The 2019-2025 military programming law (LPM) provides for the delivery to the Air Force of the first ARCHANGE system from 2025. The result of a decade of studies on advanced technologies, the sensor suite making up the mission payload will be developed by Thales. Based on innovative technologies such as multi-polarization antennas and artificial intelligence to improve automatic processing, this mission package will detect and analyze radar and communication signals with integrated sensors fitted to a Falcon 8X business aircraft. built by Dassault Aviation.
These modified Falcon 8Xs with their on-board and ground mission system will be called ARCHANGE. In accordance with the 2019-2025 military program law, three aircraft will replace the two Transall C-160 Gabriel now used for similar missions. A ground training platform planned for deployment at the Evreux airbase will complete the system.
The ARCHANGE systems will significantly increase the capabilities of French airborne electromagnetic intelligence and will contribute to the particular effort on the strategic function “knowledge and anticipation” which guarantees France’s decision-making autonomy and its superiority in operation. The ARCHANGE program will thus contribute to the revival of military capabilities requested by the President of the Republic.