The US Army has awarded a contract to Thales to work on its Rifleman Radio full rate production (FRP) programme.
Awarded under a ten-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year base period and a five-year option, the contract will enable the company to compete for the different orders of the programme.
A part of the army's Joint Tactical Radio System, Handheld, Manpack and Small-form Fit (HMS) programme, the Rifleman Radio programme will have a maximum ceiling value of $3.9bn for acquisition of radios, accessories, technical support and sustainment through 2025.
Thales Defense and Security president and CEO Michael Sheehan said: "Thales remains committed to the Rifleman Radio programme and to supporting the army's network modernisation initiative.
"With the Thales Rifleman Radio soldiers will be provided with the best in class solution using the most capable soldier radio on the market."
Since 2004, the company has supported the development and fielding of the Rifleman Radio under low rate initial production (LRIP) programme, which has so far delivered more than 21,000 radios to the army.
Thales's enhanced AN/PRC-154A Rifleman Radio is claimed to be the most advanced, fielded, and proven soldier radio on the market, and is capable of delivering voice and data simultaneously.
The radio provides secure, inter-squad, networked communications and situational awareness to the soldier at the tactical edge of the battlefield, thereby improving mission effectiveness.
The latest Rifleman Radio solution leverages the company's extensive expertise in handheld radio design, and surpasses the original programme requirements by improving battery life, mission weight, and waveform performance while also enhancing the user interface.
Under the army's current acquisition strategy, individual delivery orders can be competed for after completion of qualification testing.
Testing is scheduled to be performed on radios delivered under the initial delivery order. Qualified radios are expected to begin deployment in 2017.
Image: Thales's enhanced AN/PRC-154A Rifleman Radio provides secure, inter-squad, networked communications, and situational awareness to the soldier at the tactical level. Photo: courtesy of Thales.