ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS) has received $120 M in contracts from the Swiss defense procurement agency, Armasuisse, to provide the Swiss Air Force with advanced Link-16 connectivity for its fighter aircraft. The funding represents a continuation of work by TRS on the Florako command and control program.

This is a high performance air defense and air space management system developed by TRS, which comprises master surveillance radars, a data and communication system, a new airspace management system, and new air command and control centers. The upgraded Florako systems will transmit voice and data over an encrypted link, provide nationwide Link-16 coverage, allow the aircraft to acquire Link-16 before take-off and incorporate multifunctional information distribution system (MIDS) technology. MIDS technology will help pilots to overcome the challenges of gathering data while flying their aircraft over the mountainous Swiss terrain.

Florako Phase VII is slated for completion in late 2008. Work will be performed by ThalesRaytheonSystems employees in Fullerton and Massy, France. Swiss industry will also participate in the system's deployment. "TRS is extremely proud to be awarded this new phase –Phase VII –of Florako by Armasuisse," said Michel Mathieu, chief executive officer of ThalesRaytheonSystems. "The success of this program is the outcome of an outstanding cooperation between the teams of armasuisse and of TRS on both sides of the Atlantic."

"The future Defense System will be expanded to integrate more real time data and to interface with more sensors and reconnaissance assets in order to provide maximum information for decision making," said Dr. Alfred Markwalder, Swiss chief of armament. "The addition of Link-16 is a step in this direction and demonstrates Florako's ability to adapt and to grow with the evolution of information sources, allowing Switzerland to maintain a modern fielded System for many years to come."