Thales supports Battle of Britain memorial
Thales UK has supported a campaign to commemorate the command and control system and people that played such a key role in helping the Royal Air Force (RAF) win the Battle of Britain in 1940.
Following a successful appeal by the Association of RAF Fighter Control Officers, enough funds have been raised to commission and install a specially-designed stained glass window at the historic former RAF station at Bentley Priory, which played a strategic role as the London wartime headquarters of Fighter Command.
The window commemorates the part played by those who helped direct the fighter squadrons to intercept the German bombers during the conflict. The resources available included radar data, at the time a new and top secret technology that gave the RAF a significant advantage. By providing a recognised ‘air picture’ of the threats, the RAF were able to intercept and defend in a timely and organised manner.
The window will also help remind the successors to the operators – the RAF’s current Aerospace Battle Management personnel – about their heritage and the ongoing vital requirement for such skills in modern air operations. Today, Thales UK provides the RAF with essential Aerospace Battle Management systems and equipment such as the Tactical Air Control Centre (TACC) and the Air Defence Ground Environment Data Link Buffer System (ADLBS). In the air, Thales UK supports a range of fighter, ISTAR and Air-to-Air Refuelling assets including Typhoon, Sentry and Voyager.
Stuart McCullouch, Chair, Association of RAF Fighter Control Officers, says: “We were so pleased to have this opportunity to recognise the enormous and ground-breaking part that these operators played in the Battle of Britain and the other air battles over the UK during the war. Sadly many of their colleagues are no longer with us and it we felt it was most important that as many as possible of those remaining should see the unveiling of a lasting memorial to honour their contribution.”
Marion Broughton, head of Thales UK’s military aerospace business, says: “Thales UK is at the heart of current RAF operations through our training services, avionics equipment and essential aerospace battle management systems. We are proud to continue supporting the RAF in its air defences role and felt it wholly appropriate to support this worthy appeal marking 72 years after the historic Battle of Britain.”