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28 Jan 03. In the second half of 2002, the French defence procurement agency (DGA) awarded Thales Communications two studies, together worth around 22 million Euros, to define and test future battlespace communication systems.

The first study concerns the development of a high-speed radio demonstrator for land and naval applications.

High-speed radio marks a new generation of multiservice, multimedia (voice, images, data) communications capabilities, which will enable optimised networking across the battlespace and guaranteed quality of service thanks to message and real time constraint management.
Offering secure transmissions at rates exceeding one megabit per second over tens of kilometres, high-speed radio is an enabling technology for the armed forces:
– new operational functions for naval forces such as fleet-level videoconferencing across naval intranets and multi-platform situational awareness,
– digitised battlespace and tactical Internet applications for land forces.
In addition to faster transmission rates, high-speed radio will improve connectivity between users and extend service provision to high-mobility forward units.

The second study concerns the definition and testing of the software architecture for future tri-service radios, which will equip the armed forces in the near future. The software architecture is a key component of these new multi-channel, multi-band, programmable radios.
Based on the software-defined radio (SDR) concept, the architecture will be compatible with the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) standard, defined under the American JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) programme, and will support waveform programmability.
The study aims to validate the concept of waveform portability by conducting interoperability tests on equipment produced by different manufacturers.

High-speed radio and the new software architecture are the key building bricks for developing future radio systems for all the armed forces. They will provide the operational capabilities and interoperability needed for cooperative engagement, the deployment concept underpinning numerous programmes around the world, including BOA, CEMP, FCS, FRES and TSMP.

These latest contracts confirm Thales’ leading role in developing and implementing defence communication systems and will enable the Group to progressively incorporate these new technologies into its range of products and systems.

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