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Thales, US Army weigh radar integration into battle management systems

The Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant compound-helicopter being offered for FVL. (Sikorsky–Boeing)

Programme officials at Thales are exploring options for integration of the company's new software-defined airborne radar into the US Army's latest battlefield management systems, as part of an overall effort to incorporate the radar system into the service's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) effort.

Company officials categorise the new software-defined radar (SDR), dubbed AirMaster C, as a “developmental” product, said Mike Donaldson, director of advanced programmes and business development at Thales Defense & Security, Inc. However, programme officials are on track for initial production and deployment of the AirMaster C for a third-party customer, Donaldson told Janes . He declined to comment on the details of that proposed production and deployment deal. However, during an interview, he said that the initial development of the platform will coincide with “what we anticipate for future vertical lift [requirements]” for the US Army.

“With the acknowledged caveat that no one knows for sure what the timeline actually is going to end up being for Future Vertical Lift, we have anticipations based on what we're being told ... because of the weight savings, the power consumption savings, the space savings, its ability to be mounted in a variety of configurations, the AirMaster C is adaptive enough that ... [it is] able to be incorporated into [FVL] and advanced airframe design pretty rapidly,” said Donaldson.

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