Thales has secured a contract to supply additional véhicules de commandement nomades communiquant par satellite (VENUS) Satcom on-the-move terminals, as part of the French military's satellite-based radio communication system (Syracuse) III programme.
Awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the agreement includes a further 20 ground terminals that will be installed on the French Army's VAB light armoured vehicles, enabling commanders to stay in contact while on the move in the theatre.
The Satcom OTM technology enables vehicles fitted with satellite antennas to establish and maintain a satellite link whether they are moving or stationary.
Featuring standard interfaces to connect other tactical communication equipment for higher data rates and overall availability, the terminals provide a permanent command communication capability in the theatre of operations to help address ground force requirements of on-the-move for information exchange and force protection.
The DGA ordered ten terminals from the company in 2009, as part of an urgent operational requirement for Afghanistan.
Supplied in 2010, the terminals were deployed to Afghanistan and Mali, and provided a permanent tactical communication capability to frontline vehicles in environments where other communication systems failed to operate because of range limitations or terrain features such as deep valleys and high mountains.
The deliveries of new terminals are scheduled to take place from early 2016 to mid-2017.
Meanwhile, Thales has joined forces with Ultra Electronics TCS to develop new high-capacity, line-of-sight communication systems.
The TN 4100 improves operational flexibility and enables users to respond to the demands of existing operations and beyond.
Developed using the latest and flexible line-of-sight technology, it has high capacity communications through a tri-channel, dual-band 3+ and 4 IP platform, and supports point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, on-the-move and mesh applications.
Ultra Electronics TCS president Iwan Jemczyk said: "The TN 4100 line-of-sight radio will allow users to keep pace with technology advances, significantly reducing long-term support and enhancement costs."
Image: The VENUS Satcom terminals will be installed on the French Army's VAB light armoured vehicles. Photo: courtesy of Thales.