The French Air Force has announced the initial operational capability of the Talios laser designation pod on the Rafale F3-R aircraft.
The Air Force said on Tuesday that Talios on Rafale F3-R achieved IOC on October 29. The first flight of the F3R standard jet took place in September. A unique feature of the mission was that an Indian air force (IAF) pilot operated from the rear-seat of the twin-seater jet.
Talios (TArgeting Long-range Identification Optronic System) is a multirole electro-optical pod manufactured by the French equipment manufacturer Thales. It brings extended capabilities compared to the (older) Damocles pod, in particular by the increased precision of its optics, the improvement of the geo-location, the tracking of moving targets, the augmented reality to add markers on the area, and an infrared capability.
This new pod will gradually equip all Rafale squadrons of the Air and Space Force and will be deployed in foreign theaters of operation. Talios is perfectly suited to the current foreign operations such as Operation Chammal in the Levant and Operaton Barkhane in the Sahelo-Saharan strip. It is particularly suited for Close Air Support (CAS) and Strike Coordination And Reconnaissance missions, the service said.
The Talios gimbal features much higher image quality from its new infrared (IR) and near IR sensors, allowing the aircraft to remain at a safe stand-off distance. The resolution and the additional tactical overlays allow a better interpretation of the image and facilitate the use (search, identification, pursuit and designation of targets) and the decision process.
Its main uses will be intelligence gathering, search, identification, monitoring and designation of targets on the ground for weapons carried by Rafale. To do this, it also benefits from the precision of its geolocation, a modern and enhanced human-system interface and an integrated Rover capability, allowing the exchange of images with troops on the ground. It also has integrated maintenance capabilities that will facilitate its support.