In November 2018, a new TALIOS targeting pod manufactured by the Thales Group was adopted into service by the French Air and Space Forces. Currently, the supply of serial products is underway, and the military units are mastering them. At the end of October, the VKS reported new successes in this direction.
The first targeting pod have been brought to the stage of initial operational readiness and are now fully operational. The French defence ministry has revealed that an Indian Air Force pilot was given a demonstration of a new target acquisition system meant for the Rafale fighter.
The French defence ministry informed on its website earlier this week that an Indian Air Force pilot flew on a Rafale F3R fighter on September 22 that was equipped with the TALIOS target acquisition pod.
Development of the future TALIOS (Targeting Long-range Identification Optronic System) began in late 2013 on the order of vks France. Originally, the project was called PDL-NG (Pod de D’ignation Laser de Nouvelle G’n’ration – “Next Generation Laser Targeting Container”).
PDL-NG was seen as a more advanced and modern replacement for the existing Damocles container, compatible with multi-type fighter jets. The French VKS had to use such containers on Rafale fighter jets, and compatibility with Mirage 2000 aircraft should have been envisaged to enhance export capabilities.
In 2016-18, Thales and VKS conducted all the necessary tests of the new container, which resulted in its adoption. In November 2018, the order appeared, and soon the first serial products were delivered to the troops. The containers are still being delivered and will continue in the coming years.
On 29 October, the French Ministry of Defence announced new successes.
In an unnamed squadron manned by the Rafals, TALIOS containers reached the stage of initial operational readiness. This allows the use of such equipment in full-fledged combat operations. In the foreseeable future, new types of containers will be operated in alongside Damocles products but will be replaced in the future. Current plans provide for the gradual retooling of all fighter-bombing units with new containers.
The Thales TALIOS sighting container was designed with the experience of the previous Damocles product. The latter was criticized for the lack of a “day” optical channel and other shortcomings. In the new project, all these wishes are taken into account, so talIOS is more powerful and has increased tactical and technical characteristics.