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Thales secures Combat Net Radio, pursues RoIP solution for SOCOM

The Combat Net Radio is expected to replace the L3Harris-built RT 1523 SINCGARS VHF radio. (ITT Corporation)

Thales USA has secured a multibillion-dollar procurement deal to provide advanced tactical radios, under the US Army's Combat Net Radio (CNR) programme and is developing a manpackable communication solution to meet mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) requirements for US Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

Thales was awarded one of the two USD6 billion indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts to produce communication platforms for the CNR modernisation effort being spearheaded by army leaders, according to a 16 May company statement. The 10-year ID/IQ deal covers production and delivery of a CNR system based on the AN/PRC-148 Joint Tactical Radio System Enhanced Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (IMBITR), company officials said in the statement.

The CNR contract announcement comes after army acquisition officials signed procurement deals with Thales for the company's two-channel AN/PRC-148D Leader Radio and the single-channel AN/PRC-170 Javelin Radio, according to the statement.

The adoption of the AN/PRC-148-based platform into the army's tactical-level command, control, and communications (C3) portfolio will help service leaders transition from the L3Harris-built RT-1523 legacy Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS).

The new Thales' CNR “will continue to be compatible with the existing SINCGARS waveform but allow the army to add new waveforms and enhanced capabilities to address evolving requirements”, company officials added.

The Thales award was the culmination of a roughly two-year SINCGARS modernisation and replacement initiative kicked off by Army Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) in October 2020.

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