The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA, Direction Générale de l’Armement) announced that the TALIOS pod, that captured HD video recently, will be integrated with the Rafale F4 standard. The new data link integrated into the pod makes it possible to transmit a video as well as metadata to troops on the ground in order to improve the coordination of operations such as target designation, firing control, etc. Conducted in early November, the DGA said TALIOS pod has a “high definition” capability. This enables the crew to be provided with a more resolved near-infrared image and to integrate a color visible wide-field sensor which will make it possible to colorize high-definition videos from the Rafale F4.2 standard. The 36 pods remaining to be delivered will be in this configuration.
The TALIOS (Targeting Long-range Identification Optronic System) pod is equipped with top-down and bottom-up datalinks, and covers the entire range of missions, from intelligence to acquiring and pursuing targets. The pod is able to scan a large area, identify targets and immediately switch to acquisition and pursuit mode for these targets. Its high resolution and ability to see the colour situation simplifies the tasks of crew. Thales has also developed the “Permanent Vision” mode to assist pilots. This mode can be used to incorporate the image entered by TALIOS in a 3D map. The crew can therefore accurately locate the area filmed by the pod. Several visual indicators provide complementary real-time information on the tactical situation. The TALIOS pod will enable Rafale F4 standard aircraft to perform both air reconnaissance and ground/surface attack missions.
TALIOS will ultimately incorporate artificial intelligence algorithms to provide an unprecedented level of assistance in target detection and recognition and further accelerate the decision-making process, particularly in high-intensity engagements. The pod provides a wide-area search and target identification capability and can then switch instantly into target acquisition and tracking mode. Its high-resolution sensors provide a colour picture of the tactical situation to simplify the tasks of Rafale pilots. Thales has also developed a new Vision Permanent™ mode, which superimposes real-time video on a 3D map of the operational environment, enabling air crews to observe and understand the tactical situation in a significantly shorter time.
The French DGA placed a firm order with Thales for 21 additional TALIOS modules in May 2022. The new target designation pods will equip Rafale aircraft currently in service with the French Air and Space Force and the French Navy, and future Rafale F4s. The new pods will be delivered between 2024 and 2025, just after fulfilling the initial order for 46 TALIOS systems. This order, worth €100 million, includes additional initial support resources. Thales reports that this order for 21 additional pods underscores the continued confidence of the French forces, which have deployed TALIOS multiple times on expeditionary missions since the first pods were delivered in 2019. The DGA reported that this contract was made possible through the use of extra-budgetary resources generated by the transfer to Croatia, at the end of 2021, of Rafale aircraft from the Air and Space Forces fleet.