Finland’s ministry of defence (MoD) has issued a letter of intent (LoI) to Bittium to supply a new family of tactical software-defined radios (SDRs).
Following the implementation of its Tactical Wireless IP Network (TAC WIN) backbone, the company is now expanding into the combat net radio sector with the Tough SDR series, Harri Romppainen, Bittium’s Vice-President of Defence told Jane’s .
Development of the Tough SDR family commenced in 2007 with Bittium’s participation in the European Secure SOftware defined Radio (ESSOR) programme, as well as the development of a national test bed. Further planning work was initiated in 2015 in close collaboration with the Finnish MoD, resulting in specifications and architectural milestones by 2016. Since then, Bittium has continued research and development (R&D), leading to planned deliveries of test articles for field trials by 2019.
Present efforts are directed towards both hardware and software, resulting in a completely new platform family. On the hardware side, ongoing development supports two distinct form-factors: vehicular dual-channel and handheld single-channel transceivers. The company is also allocating resources towards a set of waveforms to be ported onto the two platforms. With TAC WIN wideband waveform already completed and operational, Bittium is now focused on a new proprietary narrowband and the European ESSOR waveforms to bring the IP network to the tactical level.
The recent LoI sets a clear path for replacement of legacy combat-net radios (CNRs) in service with the Finnish Defence Forces. It will result in a fully-modernised tactical infrastructure including routing and broadband wireless backbone (TAC WIN) working in tandem with the new Tough SDR, bringing data-on-the-move, improved situational awareness, and command-and-control (C2) applications to vehicles and dismounted forces.
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