Lacroix supplies major navies worldwide with its SYLENA decoy launching system. In the Middle East, SYLENA customers include the Egyptian Gowind-class corvettes by Naval Group and the Royal Omani Navy’s Al Ofouq-class OPVs. Regarding the UAE Navy, Lacroix is eyeing several ship modernization programs.
Naval News took the opportunity of IDEX, the large defense exhibition currently held in Abu Dhabi, to find out more with Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix’s Regional Manager and head of the French company’s local office in Abu Dhabi.
Naval News – It is the second time that you are displaying the SYLENA Mk2 at IDEX. Does that mean that the U.A.E. Navy will soon be protected by Lacroix ?
Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix – Lacroix is currently working on modernization of vessels and new programs such as AL FALAJ 3 for UAE Navy and CICPA (cost guards) to provide the new corner reflector (CNR) technology.
Naval News – Is the SYLENA family of launchers already in service with navies in the Gulf / Middle East region?
Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix – Lacroix supplies Major Navies worldwide with its DLS SYLENA. Among which we can mention the Egyptian Gowind Class Corvettes constructed by Naval Group and the Royal Omani Navy on Al Ofouq Class vessels.
Naval News – Regarding Lacroix’s decoys (ammunition), what is your key technical advantage over the competition?
Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix – Before delving in the technical advantages of Lacroix’s decoys, it is important to underscore that our historical expertise of more than 170 years is an indicator of the critical importance placed on developing cutting-edge technologies to remain in the never-ending endeavor between countermeasure (CM) vs counter-counter-measure (CCM).
Lacroix’s CNR decoys (SEALEM) are closing the technology gap between old Chaff solutions and the increasing CCM capabilities of Radio Frequency (RF) guided missiles. A notable breakthrough in the domain of CCMs in Anti-Ship Missiles (ASM) are millimetric wave seekers. To be able to decoy a millimetric wave seeker operating in Ka-band or above it is necessary to cut chaff to the required length in order to be tuned with the wavelength of the radar which is a real technological challenge due to the small size. CNR decoys on the other hand are broadband and are therefore effective in I, J and all the way up to K band.
In the same vein, CNR decoys have an equal polarization ratio contrary to chaff. Indeed, Chaff dipoles tend to fall horizontally which can easily be discriminated by a vertically polarized antenna.
Lacroix combines salvos of CNR decoys with IR decoys. Lacroix’s IR decoy technology (SEALIR) relies on three core elements. First, SEALIR has an IR spectrum similar to a ship, which makes it effective against bi-colour seekers. Second, SEALIR technology offers long lasting effects with a single payload per engagement consistent with the increasing duration requirement to avoid discrimination based on strong level/time fluctuations due to firing renewal. Third, SEALIR is a morphologic funnel-like decoy capable of replicating the main signature contributors (exhaust & funnel) effective against IIR seekers.
LACROIX New services offering
Unveiled during Euronaval 2020 online exhibition in October, LACROIX’s new bespoke services are being marketing for the first time internationally at IDEX 2021.
Backed by its regional office and its local services entity EMIRATES DEFENSE SERVICES, established in 2016 in the UAE, LACROIX has a solid presence from which to promote this offer and to effectively meet the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces’ operational requirements, for example those of the local training center AL HAMRA of the Emirati Armed Forces.
Naval News asked a few questions to Aurélie Vidal, Key Account Manager, Services Department, to find out more about the new offer.
Naval News – Lacroix launched a new catalogue of services during Euronaval in October 2020. How could this new offer of services better serve your customers in the U.A.E ?
Aurélie Vidal, Lacroix – UAE Forces are very challenging and required a full adaptability. Creating a specific department allows Lacroix to manage very quickly their different requests with a dedicated team reachable at all times.
Our first service is our availability and our support has to be as robust as our system.
We have developed different levels of in-service support in order to let our customer choose between full support and a mid-support where LACROIX will be dedicated to improve the knowledge of the crews in order to assist them in moving towards self-sufficiency. In either ways and throughout the years, LACROIX remains at the troops’ sides in order to streamline all the operations.
Naval News – Do you feel the newly created service department will help Lacroix differentiate itself from its competitors ?
Aurélie Vidal, Lacroix – Our main concern is not our competitors but our customers. We are convinced that our closeness and our ability to be a solution provider is our best value. The customer is at the center of our concerns and this is the reason why we propose only the needed services and we push strongly the trainings. You can have the best equipment, system or ammunition, if you don’t have a trained and battled-hardened troops fully aware about their surrounding environment and tools, you minimize a lot its strength. The knowledge of the forces and their continuous improvement is a key conditions for their efficiency during their operations.
Naval News – Is this new offer reserved for existing customers or could you offer it to first time customer, in addition to an ammunition procurement contract ?
Aurélie Vidal, Lacroix – Our offer is dedicated to all from first adopters to historical customers as we propose a complete catalog from beginners to specialized, with different levels : all the trainings and battle field simulation can be proposed solely and can be fully tailored made in order to provide our customer with solutions fitted to their needs.