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Exelis has secured a contract for the supply of SideHat soldier radio waveform (SRW) appliqué radios to the US Army.

The contract was awarded by the Army Contracting Command as part of the five-year, $988m indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract secured by the company in April.

"The Exelis SideHat provides a robust and efficient solution, built upon existing army capabilities."

The radios will be used by the army for tactical networking tests, which are expected to enable the US military to obtain the required material release for SRW appliqué fielding.

Exelis Night Vision and Communications Solutions division president Nick Bobay said: "The Exelis SideHat provides a robust and efficient solution, built upon existing army capabilities, to help develop and grow the army’s future tactical network.

"We’ve delivered more than 400,000 ‘SideHat-ready’ SINCGARS radios to the army and developed the Soldier Radio Waveform.

"As the developer and producer of these other key network components, we bring a unique capability and skill set needed to deliver and integrate an SRW appliqué into the existing network architecture."

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Weighing 5.9lbs, the SideHat radio is designed to provide rapid, affordable and interoperable wideband network communications for early infantry brigade combat team deployments and other SRW applications.

The National Security Agency-certified radio enables mounted and dismounted soldiers to exchange vital voice and data, including video and position location information in real time, in addition to providing a more accurate picture of the battlefield, fratricide avoidance and battle command on-the-move.

Capable of operating in the UHF and L-Band frequency ranges, the radio provides an affordable second channel solution to single-channel ground and airborne radio systems vehicular radio installations, which serve as the army’s primary tactical communications backbone.

SideHat has been used in multiple experiments to test SRW functionality and the command, control, communications computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems on-the-move at Fort Dix.

It has also been used for the air assault expeditionary force and army expeditionary warrior experiment at Fort Benning, and the Bold Quest Exercise at Camp Lejeune, US.

Defence Technology