Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) procurement organisation, has signed a £23 million agreement to provide Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships with new radios.
The state-of-the-art radios will be installed on 39 ships in total, including Type 23 Frigates, survey and ice patrol vessels, minehunters and RFA supply ships and will be used to communicate with other ships, ports and aircraft during operations. They will replace numerous older radios. As more modern pieces of equipment they are easy to use and can be updated via software and operated remotely.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “These radios will provide UK warships and supply vessels with an essential link to the outside world, both in home waters and on operations around the world.
“This cutting-edge technology will ensure that in the face of intensifying threats, Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel have the tools they need to stay readily and securely connected.”
Under the contract, Thales will develop, fit and support a V/UHF radio solution which includes the acquisition of around 300 Rohde & Schwarz radios.
“Delivering these radios will ensure that UK sailors at sea will stay connected with the world around them, performing an essential role in defence of our national security and interests”, said Russell Brown, DE&S Director – Ships Support.
“DE&S has contracted with Thales to design, integrate and support cutting-edge V/UHF radio technology to the fleet, providing essential capability on which the Royal Navy and RFA depends, at best value to the taxpayer.”
The first radio will enter service on a Type 23 Frigate in 2020, with all radios due to be delivered and installed by the end of 2023.
“World-class communication systems have to be at the heart of every ship which could be deployed on operations. This latest contract builds upon our long relationship of providing the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary with their critical communications capability, from the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers down to the smallest minehunters”, said Gareth Williams, Vice President of Thales UK’s security and naval communications business.