The General Directorate of Armaments awards the Tornado contract to the Preligens scale up

The General Directorate of Armaments awards the Tornado contract to the Preligens scale up
Photo : Preligens

The French defense procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Preligens a seven-year contract worth around €240 million. Named TORNADE (Traitement Optique et Radar par Neurones Artificiels via Détecteurs), it involves the acquisition of software licenses for AI solutions for processing and exploiting large amounts of data, and will benefit in particular the Ministry of Defence’s joint intelligence function.

Today, there is a huge amount of data coming from sensors, spy satellites, commercial satellites, drones or airplanes, and humans are struggling to process it quickly enough to enable authorities to make the right decisions quickly.

The current geopolitical context shows how crucial it is for governments and military ministries to be reactive and the importance of satellite images. Preligens’ AI image processing technology fully meets these needs.


Founded in 2016 by Arnaud Guérin (CEO) and Renaud Allioux (CTO) under the name Earthcube, the company changed its name in 2020, concomitantly with a €20 million fundraising round in which Definvest, the Ministry of the Armed Forces fund managed by Bpifrance, participated.

The company, which has been working with the Ministry of the Armed Forces since its inception, has experienced very rapid growth, notably quadrupling its turnover in 2019 and 2020. It now has more than 150 employees and has opened subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Belgium and Singapore.

Preligens provides solutions that, via artificial intelligence algorithms, automate the processing of satellite images that intelligence analysts exploit.

In 2021, as part of the TAIIA project, (Traitement et Analyse d’Images par Intelligence Artificielle), an experiment hosted at the joint training and imagery interpretation center of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM), Preligens has set up an experimentation platform that feeds operational images captured by the new CSO constellation, the French high resolution reconnaissance satellites.

The software and AI algorithms enable the identification of military equipment (ships, aircraft, armored vehicles, etc.) present on strategic intelligence sites and the detection of any unusual movement.

The French Ministry of the Army decided to entrust it with the processing of all its satellite images and awarded it new contracts via the OURANOS framework agreement for the supply of software and associated services.

The Tornado market

The software licenses acquired under the Tornado contract will enable the entities of the Ministry of the Armed Forces to respond to the need for rapid access to accurate and adequate information in a mass of data: automatic creation of maps from satellite images, detection of objects in these images for the visible, infrared and radar imagery domains.

240 million over seven years, will benefit the Ministry of Defence’s Joint Intelligence Function (FIR), which brings together the intelligence chains of the three armed forces, as well as those of the Special Operations Command (COS) and the Cyber Defense Command (COMCYBER), under the coordination of the DRM.

Translated from La Direction Générale de l’Armement attribue le marché Tornade à la scale up Preligens