General Dynamics (GD) Canada has secured a contract for the modernisation of the Canadian Army’s existing fleet of combat net radios.

Under the CDN$122m ($108m) contract, the company will upgrade 11,060 combat net radios and 6,800 vehicle interface units to enable the simultaneous operation of voice, messaging and positional awareness reporting, capabilities that cannot be achieved with the existing radio set.

"This investment demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do their job at home and abroad."

Working in collaboration with Rockwell Collins Canada and SigmaPoint Technologies, GD will provide software and hardware upgrades for the cryptographic and data transmission modules.

Modifications to the vehicle interface unit are scheduled to be performed by SED Systems.

General Dynamics C4 Systems International vice-president David Ibbetson said: "The enhanced capabilities will maintain the viability of the combat net radio for another decade and allow soldiers to operate on a modern battlefield with safety and awareness of what is going on around them."

Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said: "Communication in the field has always been a key capability for the Canadian Armed Forces.

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"This investment demonstrates the government’s commitment to providing our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do their job at home and abroad."

The contract is expected to provide work for approximately 150 employees based at GD Canada’s Calgary and Ottawa facilities, as well as employees at all other companies involved in the project.

Product design and development will be carried out in Calgary, while upgraded radios will be manufactured in Ottawa, with some subcontracted work to be performed in Cornwall.

The initial delivery of the radios is expected to start in May 2015 and continue until 2017.

Originally purchased in 1991, the combat net radio is used in all armoured vehicles and personnel carriers for transmitting and receiving tactical voice and data communications on all army operations and training missions.

The vehicle interface unit is a 50W amplifier designed to enhance the signal from the radio, thereby increasing its communication range.

Defence Technology