R&S to supply software-defined radios to Portuguese Army

by Olivia Savage

R&S to supply its SOVERON HR radios to Portuguese Armed Forces. (Rohde & Schwarz)

Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) will deliver its software-defined radios (SDRs) to the Portuguese Army.

According to an R&S announcement on 13 October, the company has entered into a partnership with EID to deliver its SOVERON HR (handheld radios) to the Portuguese Army, as part of EID's Dismounted Soldier Communications System solution.

EID was unable to provide details regarding its Dismounted Soldier Communications System at the time of publication.

SOVERON HR is a multiband very-high-frequency/ultra-high-frequency (VHF/UHF) handheld software-defined tactical radio designed for use by dismounted soldiers. It operates in the 30–512 MHz frequency range and has an operational range of up to 7 km.

Thomas Stepanski, director of Sales Tactical Communications for R&S told Janes that “[R&S] will ensure a sovereign capability in country to support the Portuguese Army throughout the lifetime of their communications systems, [this will also involve] upgrading the existing equipment to the latest standard”.

SOVERON radios incorporate R&S ‘SOVERON WAVE' waveform suite, which permits communications in anti-access/area denial environments. Frequency hopping and advanced encryption technologies are used to counter jamming and interception.

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US backtracks on M1A2 tanks, sending older variant to Ukraine

by Meredith Roaten

After months of deliberations, top US Army officials have decided that sending the M1A1 Abrams tank to Ukraine is faster than sending the M1A2 as originally planned. (US Marine Corps)

The Pentagon announced on 21 March that the 31 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) promised to Ukraine will not be M1A2 model as initially planned.

In order to get platforms to Ukraine faster, the US will pull 31 M1A1 tanks from US Army stocks and spruce them up for battle, said Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder on 21 March. The variant change will “significantly expedite delivery timelines” and will ensure that the tanks will arrive by “the fall timeframe”.

The funding for the assistance to Kyiv will come from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which will enable the Pentagon to pay General Dynamics to modify the M1 tank hulls.

Scott Taylor, director of US business development at General Dynamics Land Systems, told Janes that the tanks will be refurbished according to the US Army's 10-20 mission capable standards.

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Update – DSEI Japan 2023: Aeralis, ShinMaywa sign contract to collaborate on digital engineering

by Oishee Majumdar

The latest concept art of the Aeralis modular aircraft, released to mark the signing of a contract with ShinMaywa at DSEI Japan 2023. (Aeralis)

The UK-based Aeralis signed a contract with Japanese company ShinMaywa to collaborate on the implementation of digital engineering processes for military aircraft design and manufacturing in Japan.

Using digital engineering, the UK firm has developed the Aeralis modular aircraft system that can perform a range of training and operational tasks, the company's business development director Richard Eastment told Janes at DSEI Japan 2023, held in Chiba from 15 to 17 March.

One modular aircraft such as the Aeralis, instead of different kinds of aircraft with their own supply chain and simulators, can reduce costs, training time, as well as design and certification time for the acquisition of newer variants of the aircraft because all variants will share 85% common parts, he said.

The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) is highly interested in digital engineering because of its partnership with the UK and Italy on the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP). Digital engineering can be used to bridge the physical distance between the partners during this development, he added.

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CENTCOM commander warns of growing Chinese arms exports

by Jeremy Binnie

An Iranian sailor looks at the Chinese destroyer Nanning during an exercise in March that also involved the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov . Nanning also visited Abu Dhabi during the IDEX defence show in February. (Mehr News Agency)

US Central Command (CENTCOM) commander General Michael Kurilla repeatedly warned that China has significantly increased its defence exports to countries in his area of responsibility (AOR) when he testified to the Senate Armed Services committee on 16 March.

Gen Kurilla said Chinese defence exports to his AOR have increased 80% over the last 10 years as US defence exports decreased 30%.

CENTCOM AOR includes the former Soviet republics of Central Asia as well as Southwest Asia and Egypt. Gen Kurilla indicated that Arab militaries in the Gulf region are now turning to Beijing for air-defence systems when he said Chinese equipment cannot be part of the integrated air and missile defence network CENTCOM is trying to build with local partners to counter Iranian missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) will deliver its software-defined radios (SDRs) to the Portuguese Army.

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