The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has awarded Thales a contract to upgrade 13 instrument landing system (ILS) and distance measuring equipment (DME) navigation systems to guarantee RNALF’s continued air operations.

The contracts will run to at least 2035 and will see Thales replace ILS and DME components that are likely to impact the operation due to their age. The company will also provide operational maintenance and support to ensure the highest level of service availabilities for the next 12 years.

“The ILS and DME systems provide precise guidance to aircraft on final approach in low visibility or low ceiling weather conditions, which is essential for airmen to complete their mission safely,” explained Kais Mnif, navigation and non-radar surveillance segment general manager at Thales. “With Thales, RNLAF has made the choice of the most advanced ILS and DME technologies available on the market to equip their air bases and to ensure their operational capabilities at all times and in all weather conditions, so that they can fulfil their national defence missions in compliance with NATO mandate”.

ILS guarantees a precision-guided approach and ensures a safe landing. It is suitable for all situations, including at night or under poor visibility and adverse weather conditions and can be offered in fixed and deployable configurations, for both civil and military applications.

DME is used to provide enroute and approach guidance, and tells pilots how far their aircraft is flying from the ground station concerned.

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