Sagem Upgrades French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle Flagship Carrier


Sagem navigation system

In February 2015, the French telecommunications company Sagem installed their new navigation system on the French Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle. Done as part of a refit program, the upgrades were completed by the project management of the French government’s defense procurement agency, the Direction Generale de l’Armement. DCNS took the role as the prime contractor of the project in which Sagem supplied several different equipment systems such as the navigation system, alignment system, intelligence system, and several landing aids for the refit.

The Charles de Gaulle was once only equipped with three mechanical inertial units. Including this current upgrade, the goal is to have the aircraft carrier replace these inertial units with SIGMA 40 laser gyro units. These high accuracy units improve ship stability as they are resistant to vibrations and temperature differences that can be caused during battle. In addition, the SIGMA 40 laser gyro units have the capability to increase the guidance function and align the inertial units installed on Rafale aircraft. This will improve the information transmission regarding the ship’s movement.

Further upgrades to the Charles de Gaulle include a full replacement of the ship’s optronics intelligence system with a new-generation electro-optical malfunction system and an upgrade to the DALAS laser landing aid with an improved system.

Sagem (Societe d’Applications Generales de l’Electricite et de la Mecanique) was one of France’s largest defense electronics, computer electronics, and communication systems manufacturer. In 2005, Sagem merged with SNECMA to form the French Aerospace and Defense company Safran S.A. With an extensive line in Aerospace, Land Defense, Naval Solutions, and Security, the company’s product portfolio includes: flight control systems, navigation systems, information systems, engine solutions, CMMS, fire support systems, seekers, missiles, air and naval applications, and weapon sights. Headquartered in Paris, Safran has over 62,500 employees and has met yearly revenues of over 13 billion euros.

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