- The Thales Châtellerault-La Brelandière site in New Aquitaine is diversifying its activities and opening a new center of excellence for the maintenance and support of airborne optronic equipment.
- About 70 specialists trained in maintenance and support worked on the 4,000 m² dedicated. since early 2022, and the Group plans to increase the workforce by more than 50 people by 2030.
- Supported by the regional council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, this center of excellence is at the heart of the regional economy and acts to enhance the local industrial ecosystem and drive its future development.
As part of a broader effort to revitalize local industry, Thales is strengthening its historic presence in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in France by opening a new center of excellence specializing in the maintenance and support of airborne optronic equipment. By combining the diversified skills of its specialists with the disruptive techniques of the new facility, Thales provides an effective response to the need to improve the availability of strategic military equipment and ensure the success of armed forces missions.
The Thales Châtellerault-La Brelandière site traditionally manufactures ring laser gyroscope (RLG) inertial navigation systems for civil and military avionics equipment. Its activities have been impacted by the crisis in the aeronautics sector, and the site has therefore had to diversify and put the skills of its employees at the service of other customers. The electronics sector has long been a central element of the French industrial landscape and has become a strategic element in guaranteeing the country’s national sovereignty. To provide state-of-the-art technical support for its high-tech products, Thales has made significant investments, alongside the regional council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, to develop a new 4,000 m² complex. technical and logistical infrastructure at the Châtellerault-La Brelandière site. The facilities include 750 m². of clean room space and a hundred latest-generation test benches.
Two support lines dedicated to optronic equipment for combat aircraft were commissioned in less than 12 months. A single line covers all TALIOS pod support operations[i]while the other is dedicated to supporting the OSF frontal sector optronic system and the DAL laser warning receiver.
Seventy technicians, engineers and technical experts now provide customers with advanced know-how in electronics, mechanics, optics and data analysis. The site’s logistics support capabilities ensure smooth and efficient workflows to ensure the highest level of equipment availability for customers. Employees of the new support platform were trained on the Thales optronics and missile electronics campus in Élancourt, near Paris, to acquire new skills and give a new dimension to their careers. This large-scale project was an opportunity for these 70 employees, some from Élancourt, others from Châtellerault, as well as many new recruits, to make a concrete contribution to the effort to ramp up maintenance capacities for tomorrow’s operational missions.
The electronics sector is driven by innovation and has significant potential for growth, development and job creation. In collaboration with the regional council and local authorities, Thales contributes to fostering the cohesion of the electronic ecosystem in New Aquitaine, to improving its resilience by focusing new developments on the electronics of the future, to anticipating skills needs, master the key technologies needed to support innovation and industrial activity and enhance the attractiveness of jobs in this sector. To meet the needs of its customers, Thales intends to hire more than 50 new employees on the site by 2030, thus contributing to making electronics a local sector of excellence and to strengthening the region’s reputation in the industry. technological.
“Thales constantly rises to the challenges of the digital revolution, and the new center of excellence in Châtellerault-La Brelandière for airborne optronic support is a perfect example. In collaboration with the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, we are implementing our unique know-how in microelectronics to provide unprecedented industrial support to armies, better meet the needs of our customers and contribute to the success of their operational missions. We are happy to have this opportunity to help our employees acquire new skills and we are proud to support job creation in the Châtellerault region.” Benoît Plantier, Vice-President Optronics and Missile Electronics, Thales.
[i] TARgeting long range identification optronic system.