The minister of the French Armed Forces Florence Parly, came with elected officials and journalists, to the CILAS Orléans site on Friday January
The aim of the visit was to understand the issues at stake at CILAS, to address the staff and to sign and agreement with ArianeGroup
CILAS welcomed Florence Parly, who was able to visit a clean room in a laser source design laboratory and discover the company’s production facilities. The various product designation equipment for the French armies as well as the laser weapon demonstrator for UAV combat, named HELMA-P and the European project for the study of a high-powered laser weapon, TALOS, were presented to her.
At the end of the visit, Pierre Faucoup, CEO of CILAS, recalled the three major challenges for CILAS in the years to come: «innovating to offer the military even lighter and more efficient equipment […], developing the full potential of the laser weapon for which we have been investing heavily for several years with the support of the DGA […] in particular for the fight against UAVs […] and finally to provide the means of action for space control».
As a preamble to the signing of the agreement, the Minister of the Armed Forces addressed the CILAS staff, recalling CILAS’s historic role in supporting the French armed forces: «you are the historic supplier to the French armed forces of rangefinders and laser target designators». The Minister also reaffirmed MINARM’s support for CILAS: «Good days await you. The eminently strategic nature of CILAS will be further enhanced with the emergence of laser weapons. In the short term, these laser weapons already have a role to play in the field of UAV control.»
Focus on the agreement between the Ministry of the Armed Forces and ArianeGroup
The Ministry of the Armed Forces attaches great importance to the vitality and sustainability of a network of high-performance and innovative SMEs in order to constitute, in addition to the major industrial prime contractors, a defence industrial and technological base capable of developing and building the defence tool of today and tomorrow in an autonomous and competitive manner.
The three-year agreement defines the best practices that can be applied, over and above the contractual clauses, in the Ministry of the Armed Forces’ contracts that will be notified to ArianeGroup. In particular, they aim to improve indirect access for SMEs to these contracts under satisfactory conditions, and to promote the conditions for their development.
It is also a question of developing and perpetuating the french defence industrial and technological base in which SMEs, alongside large groups, must find their full place.
Improving the competitiveness and sustainability of SMEs also requires the development of their international markets. ArianeGroup is committed to informing SMEs of export opportunities and to enabling them to benefit from its international sales force.
ArianeGroup undertakes to transmit to MINARM the information enabling the monitoring of the execution of the agreement in order to marke concrete and measurable the improvement of SME’s access to Defence markets.
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