In January 2021, the French defense electronics group Thales announced that the US Army had just notified it of a third order for 1,200 IMBITR radio systems. [Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio] AN/PRC-148D, as part of its Army Leader Radio program, bringing the total number of units to be used in its integrated tactical network to 6,000.
“The IMBITR system is the first two-channel handheld radio providing warfighters with critical narrowband tactical transmissions, as well as a wideband second channel that generates an extremely high performance and reliable WREN-TSM waveform. All of these capabilities allow the networking of simultaneous and secure voice, data and video communications, improving situational awareness and real-time decision-making,” explained the industrialist at the time, welcoming the “great success” of its product, particularly with the US Army’s Stryker brigades.
Then, in October of the same year, the US Army ordered two-channel AN/PRC-148D Leader Radio and single-channel AN/PRC-170 Javelin Radio from Thales.
Six months later, the manufacturer again landed an order across the Atlantic. Indeed, on May 16, via a press release, Thales announced that it is one of the two industrial [avec L3Harris Technologies, ndlr] to have been chosen to provide a “secure software defined radio solution intended to modernize the current fleet of the US Army”, within the framework of an IDIQ-type contract [livraisons et quantités indéterminées] capped at $6 billion and providing for a “base period of five years, followed by a second period of five years, optional”.
This contract “is an essential part of the modernization efforts of the integrated tactical network of the American army”, which intends to replace its SINCGARS system [Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System]and “extends the fruitful partnership” with the latter “in terms of combat-ready communication systems”, argues Thales.
The French electronics engineer will therefore have to provide the US Army with an evolution of the AN/PRC-148 IMBITR tactical radio.
“This flexible and secure software-based tactical radio will allow the US Army to gradually replace its fleet of R/T1523 radios. It will remain compatible with the existing SINCGARS waveform, but new waveforms can be added, as well as enhanced capabilities to meet evolving needs,” explains Thales.
“The Thales radio is perfectly in line with the US Army’s desire to integrate mature and proven products into its connectivity architecture serving tactical units. Designed for easy integration into combatant systems, [elle] adapts perfectly to the integrated tactical network of the American army”, commented Mike Sheehan, CEO of Thales Defense and Security Inc, the American subsidiary of the French group.
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