To supply Internet Protocol (IP) telephony system for 270,000 users under the Descartes programme

Paris, 17 January 2018 – Airbus has been awarded the Symphonie contract by the French joint services directorate for defence infrastructure networks and information systems (DIRISI) for a period of seven years. It is part of the Descartes programme designed to modernise the telecommunication networks of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.


Symphonie will offer 270,000 users at the Ministry of the Armed Forces a telephony service at 1,500 sites in metropolitan France, the overseas territories (French Guiana, the Antilles, Réunion and Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia) and abroad (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Djibouti, United Arab Emirates, Chad, Lebanon, external operations).


It will entail an overhaul and, as of 2018, the deployment of a modern telephony solution for the various organisations at the Ministry of the Armed Forces. With Symphonie, the core of the telephony network which carries communications between sites will make the transition from the ISDN technology provided by the Socrate network, to a voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system. This technological leap will lead to substantial operational savings.


Symphonie also includes the deployment of new network management centres, cybersecurity management centres and operational support for seven years. Airbus will be calling on a network of about twenty French SMEs for performance of the works, deployment operations and local maintenance.


Symphonie is a key component of the Descartes programme designed to modernise all the infrastructure networks at the Ministry of the Armed Forces, owing to the constant increase in demand for throughput and quality of service as well as the need for reinforced cybersecurity. It comprises a ‘general purpose’ element designed in line with the interministerial initiatives on this subject. It also comprises a high-security ‘resilient’ part, which functions even in the event of a major emergency.


At the beginning of 2017, a group of companies created by ENGIE Ineo (project leader) and Airbus (co-contractor) won the Descartes STCA contract to build the high-availability communication network for control of air operations from the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

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