The contract was granted to two providers in a 60/40 split, with Thales being awarded the larger share, valued at over $200 million. This recent order is in addition to CECOM's June 2005 contract for the acquisition of more than 3,500 of the Thales VAA system. In total, over $300 million has been awarded to Thales for its SINCGARS capable vehicular radio system.
Thales' AN/VRC-111 VAA responds to the U.S. Army's critical need for Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS)-capable communication systems. Each unit consists of two AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radios (MBITRs), two MBITR Vehicle Adapters, and a SINCGARS interface tray. Maintaining all of the functionality of the combat-proven AN/PRC-148 MBITR and Vehicle Adapter, the AN/VRC-111 VAA provides full 20-watt RF output power across the entire 30 to 512 MHz frequency range. A key feature unique to the Thales AN/VRC-111 VAA is the capability for a cable-free radio dismount in less than 2 seconds at the push of a button.
"This award validates Thales' ability to rapidly field critically-needed equipment with a best-value approach based on demonstrated performance with proven products," said Felix J. Boccadoro, director of business development and legislative affairs for Thales Communications. "We look forward to leveraging the unique strength of our team, in partnership with the Army, to provide the best capability for our warfighters now and in the future."
The AN/VRC-111 VAA system is being fielded by the Army to support basic SINCGARS functionality in vehicles equipped with two 30 to 88 MHz antennas. It enables extended range for SINCGARS communications, additional capability for tactical air-to-ground communications, and interoperable communications with commercial VHF and UHF systems. Additionally, with the power of the VAA 20-watt multiband capability being recognized by soldiers in the field, requests for alternative configuration antennas to support connectivity with the new system, in particular UHF SATCOM, are increasing.
To date, Thales has shipped more than 2,500 AN/VRC-111 VAA systems to the Army. Manufacturing takes place at the company's two Maryland plants, including a state-of-the-art facility on its Clarksburg, Maryland, headquarters campus.
Thales pioneered the concept of developing communication system components, such as vehicle adapters, base stations, and tactical repeaters, around a portable radio more than 15 years ago. The AN/VRC-111 VAA leverages the heritage and continues the legacy of having a common vehicular and dismounted platform. The AN/VRC-111 is provided with either version of the AN/PRC-148--the standard MBITR or the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) MBITR, or JEM, which has been developed, qualified, and certified under the JTRS Cluster 2 Program.
Thales Communications, Inc., a global leader in the development of secure, tactical, software-defined radio equipment and solutions, provides critical communication capabilities for use in size-, weight-, and power-constrained environments. Thales Communications is part of the Thales Group of companies, a leading international electronics and systems group, serving defense, aerospace, security, and services markets worldwide. The Group employs 60,000 people throughout the world and generated revenues of $12.7 billion in 2005. Thales Communications, Inc., is a U.S. proxy company. Accordingly, it is considered a 100% American company by the U.S. Government. For more information about Thales Communications, visit www.thalescomminc.com. For more information about the Thales Group, visit www.thalesgroup.com.