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New airborne software-defined radios pitched at IAF requirements

Germany’s Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) and South Africa’s Reutech Communications have taken the opportunity at Aero India 2019 to showcase their latest software-defined radio (SDR) systems.

The R&S SOVERON is a family of multiplatform, multiband tactical SDR systems operating in the VHF/UHF (30–512 MHz) frequency band and is based on SCA 2.2.2 architecture. The system is being offered in three variants – SOVERON VR (vehicular tactical radio), SOVERON AR (airborne radio), and SOVERON HR (handheld radio).

The R&S SOVERON AR software-defined radio seen at Aero India 2019. (IHS Markit/Pritish Dhingra)

The R&S SOVERON AR software-defined radio seen at Aero India 2019. (IHS Markit/Pritish Dhingra)

These radios have been ruggedised to MIL-STD-810G environmental and MIL-STD-461F EMC standards.

The SOVERON family has been developed, on the lines of bespoke German Federal Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr) Joint Radio System known as Streitkräftegemeinsame verbundfähige Funkgeräte-Ausstattung (SVFuA), to target the international customers.

SOVERON radios incorporate the company’s SOVERON WAVE waveform suite, which it claims to offer fast frequency hopping and embedded encryption capabilities and designed to operate in contested environments. Other features include simultaneous voice and data transmission and mobile ad hoc network (MANET) capabilities.

Pushkar Krishna, head of sales at R&S’ Secure Communications business told Jane’s that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has expressed interest in the SOVERON AR for its Tejas Mk 2 medium fighter.

The company further disclosed that the SOVERON AR is being fielded in the CH-47F Chinook helicopter operated by several countries. It is also being introduced in Saab’s Gripen fighter aircraft and will be replacing the legacy R&S MR6000R SDR in older Gripen models.

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