General Dynamics Canada has been awarded a CDN$122 million, three-year contract to upgrade the Canadian Forces' existing fleet of Combat Net Radios.
The radios, originally purchased in 1991, will be enhanced to allow for simultaneous operation of voice, messaging and positional awareness reporting, capabilities not currently possible with the existing radio set. The upgrades will increase the throughput and speed of data transmission, bringing levels on par with newer military radios.
"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," says David Ibbetson, vice president, General Dynamics C4 Systems International.
A team of highly skilled professionals from General Dynamics, Rockwell Collins Canada (Ottawa, Ontario), and SigmaPoint Technologies (Cornwall, Ontario), will provide software and hardware upgrades for more than 11,000 Combat Net Radios and 6,800 Vehicle Interface Units. The upgrade project will consist of replacing the cryptographic and data transmission modules in the radio. Modifications to the Vehicle Interface Unit are also required and will be performed by SED Systems (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan).
Initial delivery of the upgraded Combat Net Radios is expected in May 2015 and will continue through 2017.
This contract provides work for approximately 150 employees based out of General Dynamics Canada'sCalgary and Ottawa facilities, as well as employees at Rockwell Collins Canada, SigmaPoint Technologies and SED Systems.
The Combat Net Radio is the primary means of transmitting and receiving tactical voice and data communications on all Army operations and training missions. The Vehicle Interface Unit is a 50-watt amplifier that boosts the signal from the radio, thereby increasing its communication range.