Air Force Chiefs at Massy to review progress on the ACCS programme
On October 6th, General Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff of the French Air and Space Force, François Pintart, Director of Operations at the DGA (French defence procurement agency) and their teams were welcomed by Thales CEO Patrice Caine at the site of Massy near Paris. The purpose of the visit was to review the progress made on the ACCS programme, the NATO Air Command and Control System, and more particularly on the PNO* (First Operational Level) programme being developed for France.
The visit began with the presentation of the overall status of the programme, the main objectives achieved in the last period and the remaining milestones to be achieved by the end of the year and the beginning of next year.
The visit continued in the ACCS BattleLab, where several demonstrations were held to illustrate scheduling and flight operations on the ACCS system:
- The flight scheduling operations in a CAOC (Combined Air Operations Centre) responsible for the strategic planning and tasking of flight operations
- Permanent Safety Posture (PPS) type operations in an Air Control Centre, responsible for managing the air situation, with the friend or foe classification of aircrafts, taking into account abnormal behavior such as a radio breakdown, an in-flight mission change of a fighter sent for interceptions, and recognition of the aircraft in question
The visitors were also able to measure the improvements made to the system through the Addendum 3** programme, such as the renovated hardware and software components, the dual operational/evaluation architecture allowing for reduced downtime during software upgrades, the extension to three theaters of operation, the HMI (Human-Machine Interaction) improvements requested by the users community, the new operational and technical supervision and the extensive big-data capacities for analysing recorded data.
General Lavigne and François Pintart expressed thanks and appreciation for the successful completion of the PNO testing achieved in September and the involvement of the teams. They stressed the importance of this milestone in the deployment of ACCS in France.
* The PNO programme aims at validating the capacity of the ACCS system to support the Permanent Security Posture of the French Air Force and to ensure the protection of French airspace in full integration with the command structure of NATO and other member nations.
** The Addendum 3 programme, signed in June 2018, consists of renovating the hardware and software architecture of the ACCS system based on new technologies and expanding its capabilities to meet the latest developments in NATO’s command structure and the new user needs. Addendum 3 represents an essential step in the digital transformation of NATO operations.