Thales has been awarded two contracts to upgrade the French Ministry of Defense's data and telephony infrastructure networks.

Under the contracts, awarded as part of the DESCARTES communications upgrade program, Thales will upgrade the SOCRATE resilient network as well as deploy the POINCARE network, which will connect military sites in France and overseas.

The SOCRATE network "will interconnect over 250,000 users at more than 100 strategic sites, including Hexagone-Balard, the new Ministry of Defense headquarters in Paris," a Thales news release said. "The project will ensure continuity of the French military's most important operational missions, from nuclear deterrence to joint forces command and the country's permanent air security presence."

Under the POINCARE contract, Thales and NextiraOne will interconnect 1,200 Ministry of Defense sites in mainland France and abroad.

The SOCRATE contract will begin in 2017 and continue through 2021, while the POINCARE upgrade will be completed in 2018.