Lacroix - Leading Provider of Global Countermeasures Solutions Showcases Products at Paris Air Show

Issue 77 - September 2017

Lacroix provides the Armed Forces in France and abroad with a complete range of self-protection pyrotechnic systems, ammunition and training devices for airborne, land and naval applications. 

At the recent Paris Air Show, Mr. Eric Mangé, Lacroix Digital Marketing Manager and Mr. Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix Business Development Manager met with Defence Turkey magazine to discuss their latest cutting-edge products and innovations in countermeasures solutions on display and to share insight into their activities in Turkey.

Mr. Eric Mangé provided an overview of the company’s history by saying “Lacroix is a family company established in 1848 which is specialized in fireworks and pyrotechnics. We have developed defence activities in the 70’s and worked quickly regarding the development of vehicle survivability systems and munitions using pyrotechnic devices for the land forces. We have developed a system to protect the Leclerc Main Battle Tank but also systems for smaller vehicles like 6x6 or 8x8.”

Lacroix, in collaboration with Nexter, developed GALIX: a passive countermeasures system for land forces. The GALIX System protects fighting vehicles from various threats such as laser designator, thermal camera, laser range finder or laser beam rider operated by missiles. The GALIX System can use up to 24 launching tubes for firing smoke cloud with 360° protection around the vehicle. There are three variants of the control system available: 

For light vehicles, an autonomous GALIX system with a simple manual launch option.

For combat vehicles:

semi-autonomous GALIX system with a manual and deported launch option or 

fully automated variant of the system comprising a variety of sensors, including laser warning sensors, will take action.

On the land front, the GALIX Automatic Obscuration System from detection to reaction was developed to be installed on any type of land platform: MBT, BMP, LAV, 4x4, 6x6, 8x8. 

On the naval front, the last ten years was spent toward developing a complete range of decoy launching systems named SYLENA to protect vessels, ranging from fast attack crafts or patrol boats to frigates.

Mr. Eric Mangé continued by noting specifically for Turkey that “Lacroix munition GALIX 13G could significantly enhance the survivability of the “Altay” main battle tank.” 

Mr. Eric Mangé stated the Lacroix presence during the Paris Air Show was focused this year on their main airborne products and the added value that they can provide, and especially to present each kind of cartridge format and technology customized in order to protect the dedicated airborne platform from old, existing and emerging guided missiles. He elaborated by saying “That’s why we present to the visitors, the customers, the final users and the official delegation, the customized cartridges that is used to protect fighter jets like the F16s or Rafale.  It is sold all over the world such as to India, Egypt, Qatar and so on…and also for the rotary wing, the Tiger Helicopter for example, the countermeasure used for the Tiger in NATO format could be used for the T129 “Atak” version manufactured in Turkey. We propose of course the chaff technology against radar guided missiles, MTV and spectral technologies for flares, in order to protect against new kinds of infrared guided missiles. We are particularly focused on the Airbus A400M activity and the sales programs all over the world because this is a specific cartridge we designed and developed with the French Armament Technical Institute (DGA) to optimize the protection of this special plane.  Actually, we have developed and qualified a dedicated chemical composition, smart and proficient innovative technology for this plane.” 

Aerospace Solutions of Lacroix

Particularly in aerospace components Mr. Eric Mangé stated that “We work on several projects, in order to be placed in satellites.  We work closely with the French Commercial Space Center (CNES), European Space Agency (ESA) for Ariane 6 and scientific satellites.

Lacroix is one of the key partners in impressive and innovative aerospace projects such as satellites constellations. 

He illustrated how they use pyrotechnics to be operated in search and rescue operations by saying “We also provide the signaling devices that are used by French pilots as well black as other foreign countries armed forces in order to be detected in search and rescue situations.  Of course, we are compliant with the relevant NATO standards but our company is also capable to adapt according to every customer requirement.”

Lacroix Focus on the Turkish Market

“Now we are currently discussing with the Turkish Airforce regarding the protection of platforms like F16s or A400Ms.  We have dedicated Spectral Flares to protect these aircrafts against the latest generation of MANPADS.  Several NATO nations have already used our flares in live operations. Some of these aircrafts were able to return to base after a missile engagement thanks to our products. For several years we have been developing the A400M dedicated flare. Thanks to a complete set of measurement and experimentation equipment (radiometers, high speed camera or high speed track, …)we are able to specify, develop, test and qualify our products in as close as possible to real life conditions. In the end what matters most is that our flares are able to defeat the latest generations of Manpads.”  

Mr. Mangé talked with our magazine about the significance of their involvement in the NATO EMBOW trial, saying that in this “EMBOW is a NATO trial involving the major NATO countries where the latest flares and aircrafts are tested against a large number of IR threats. Every two years, Lacroix provides its latest products in order to demonstrate their efficiency. As a member of the NATO sub-group in charge of these trials, Turkey has access to this information.”

Discussions on Protection Systems for Hürkuş-C for the Turkish Armed Forces  

At the Lacroix Paris Air Show booth, Mr. Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix Business Development Manager discussed progress made regarding the Hürkuş program, sharing “For this specific program, we should turn toward more discussions with them. I think now we have the right contacts inside the Turkish Airforce. As we know there have been many changes, so now I think things are moving ahead. Hopefully in the upcoming weeks we will discuss more with them.  We are expecting the Turkish delegation to visit our booth. I have already met with Executive Turkish Officials at IDEF17 and we had a very fruitful discussion. I think we have a good connection and he has understood that we have some possibilities to announce the protection of the Turkish Airforce fleet.”    

GALIX Protection System for Main Battle Tanks, a Complement to AKKOR System

Regarding the “Altay” program, Mr. Priouzeau stated that they are discussion with SSM and also Turkish Companies.  

Mr. Priouzeau elaborated on the GALIX solution, saying “We are able to provide some key solutions from detection to reaction, especially against KORNET Anti-Tank Missile. This is not a competitor against AKKOR (Active Protection System). GALIX is a passive solution. Depending on the threat you can use either AKKOR or GALIX. The best protection would be achieved with a combined solution. GALIX masks the guidance system (operator or automatic seeker) of the threat so that the target cannot be designated. The vehicle is hidden behind the GALIX cloud. We do not use phosphorus. Red phosphorus is not enough efficient in infrared band 2 and band 3, so we’ve developed our own patented solution. We are able to deploy the masking cloud in less than one second. The competition today is not able to be so quick in terms of reactivity. That is why we are in discussion with the Turkish government to provide this kind of solution to protect the M60 Tank or any other armored vehicles. If you discuss this with Turkish specialists in the field, they consider Lacroix to be the best solution. Now we are in discussions with SSM and Turkish forces command to prepare a demonstration in France and in Turkey and provide this solution.”

Win-Win Technology Transfer to Turkey on the Roadmap with Lacroix

Mr. Priouzeau stated that they are discussing the possibility to achieve local content in Turkey, saying “We have already had some discussions with Turkish industrial partners.  It could be a win-win Industry cooperation.”

Lacroix combines the expertise of its engineers and technicians with that of scientific and technical experts.  With offices around the globe, they actively work with electronic warfare specialists and operational forces to capitalize on the latest operational knowledge and feedback.

Their significant storage capacity and company transport services (via their sister company, Etienne Lacroix Logistics), enables them to offer complete logistics services for pyrotechnic products and to fulfill supply chain requirements.  They are a leader in design, manufacture and the supply of pyrotechnic devices and systems to meet military, civil and space requirements worldwide