Skip to main content

Tactical software radio takes centre stage at IDEX 2017

Attracting more than 1,200 exhibitors, the IDEX exhibition and conference is a not-to-be-missed event for players in the defence sector wishing to showcase their solutions to potential customers in the Middle East. At this year’s event, Thales demonstrated its capacity to meet the current and future operational needs of armed forces, notably via two flagship radio communications solutions, F@stnet HD and Synaps.

These two military radio systems address current and future battlefield challenges, including, first and foremost, the need to transmit increasing volumes of data.

Users enthusiastic about F@stnet HD

The new high-data-rate capabilities of F@stnet HD were spotlighted via real transmission demonstrations on the Thales stand, attracting a large number of visitors. The system offers more powerful data networking and greater resistance to jamming, while continuing to provide an integrated geolocation function that acts as the basis for Blue Force Tracking (BFT). What’s more, F@stnet HD offers full compatibility and interconnectivity with the latest battlefield management and C4I systems. A new easy-to-use touch-screen interface featuring highly intuitive state-of-the-art icons and pictograms, and the ability to switch between languages (English and Arabic) in just two keystrokes, also gained a unanimous thumbs-up from visitors.

F@stnet HD leverages the new GeoMux HD VHF waveform to give users the ability to transmit voice and data (photos, video, reports, etc.) simultaneously and independently on the same terminal, at high data rates of up to 250 kbps, and at operational ranges unmatched by any competing system. It also offers geolocation-based Blue Force Tracking, a key capability in collaborative combat that allows units on the ground to share their positions.

In addition to extended range — thanks to an automatic relay capability integrated into the waveform — F@stnet HD provides excellent resistance to jamming, which has made something of a comeback in theatres of operation in recent years.

The F@stnet family is a Thales bestseller, with more than 150,000 radios in service with armed forces around the world. The latest member of the family, F@stnet HD points the way to the future of radio communications for collaborative combat, represented in particular by the Synaps range of broadband tactical software-defined radios.

Synaps: tomorrow, today

Presented at IDEX 2017 following its initial launch at Eurosatory in June 2016, Synaps caught the attention of high-ranking visitors heading for the Thales stand in search of a comprehensive vision of the future of combat systems.

Based on CONTACT*, Europe’s largest software-defined radio programme, Synaps can adapt to the specific needs (and waveforms) of national armed forces. With services including voice, messaging, video, chat and Blue Force Tracking, Synaps enables units to detect threats and share information about the tactical situation in real time and at high data rates.

Synaps acts as the nervous system of a military deployment, providing a unique collaborative combat capability based on real-time horizontal communications between all units (and systems) on the ground. Functioning like a kind of battlefield social network, it ushers in the era of genuinely optimised information sharing to get the right information to the right person at the right time, provide commanders with information superiority, and significantly raise the tempo of operations.

Visitors to the Thales stand had a chance to share our comprehensive vision of the future of combat systems, and to discover a range of solutions that dovetail perfectly with current moves to provide armed forces with new operational capabilities. It was an opportunity for wide-ranging discussions with decision-makers, programme representatives and users and a chance to show them that Thales’s positioning and development strategy are perfectly aligned with the current and future operational needs of armed forces. Advanced radio communications solutions, notably F@stnet HD, are already being proposed by Thales on a number of programmes, and look set for a bright future.

Find out more:

Download the brochure F@STNET HD: a new VHF radio reference

Thales launches SYNAPS, the new broadband tactical software-defined radio family for collaborative combat

* Led by the French defence procurement agency (DGA), the programme will see the French armed forces equipped with new state-of-the-art software-defined radios from 2019. Find out more: DGA awards contract for Contact programme  (12/07/2012)