German Forces Trust in Thales for SDR

Thales Deutschland has been awarded contracts to develop VHF/UHF radio module and national waveforms SEM and IdZ for the German Software Defined Radio programme, SVFuA. (Stuttgart / Pforzheim, December 16, 2009) -- SVFuA is the German Software Defined Radio (SDR) programme that will bring next generation radio technology to the Bundeswehr, the German Federal Armed Forces. Germany's Federal Bureau of Information Management and Information Technology has commissioned Thales Deutschland in Pforzheim, Germany, to develop a radio module with a frequency range of 30 megahertz (MHz) to 600 MHz and to port the national high security VHF waveform SEM 80/90/93 to the SDR in compliance with the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) standard. This waveform is in service on thousands of fielded radios and will continue to be used on the future SDR. The waveform contract also includes an option to port the UHF waveform of the German future soldier programme, IdZ (Infanterist der Zukunft), to SVFuA. Thus, the Bundeswehr relies on the expertise of Thales for vital components of their SDR programme. With it, the Bundeswehr closes a capability gap for best of breed tactical communications. Dr. Markus Hellenthal, CEO of Thales Deutschland, is pleased with Thales' success: "The order for this pivotal development and procurement programme confirms the trust that has grown between the German Armed Forces and Thales as a result of decades of successful co-operation." The radio module development benefits from the latest technology of a military VHF power amplifier that was developed in Pforzheim. Today it is manufactured there in large quantities for the international markets of the entire Thales Group with the French Armed Forces being one major customer. According to M. Hellenthal, the short development schedule of the SDR radio module and demanding technical specifications present a particular challenge. He adds that the German Forces plan to procure several thousands of these radio modules upon completion of the development, and that together with the waveforms, Thales will contribute a considerable share in the SDR programme. Peter Obermark, Vice President of the Thales Deutschland's Defence Solutions & Services business area, underlines Thales' technical expertise in this field: "Our radio engineering capabilities and our self-funded development of SDR technology since the beginning of the decade were key to our success." As a global leader in the field of tactical radios, Thales is heavily involved in the SDR national programmes in the USA and in Europe. Thales Deutschland is a major contributor of the Group's own SDR development and export programmes. It is this experience, according to Obermark, that qualifies Thales Deutschland to port the waveforms to a radio whose core is being developed concurrently by a different manufacturer - a first in Europe. Obermark considers conditions excellent for jobs at the location: "This order secures existing and creates new high-tech jobs in Pforzheim, which is part of the Group's global centre of expertise for next generation SDR technology." Since the 1980s, over 80,000 SEM series VHF radios were built in Pforzheim for the German Armed Forces and over 2,000 cutting-edge soldier communication systems for the German future soldier programme IdZ have been manufactured here in the past few years.

Source: Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
Date: Dec 18, 2009