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

At Eurosatory 2016, Thales announces the launch of SYNAPS, the new broadband tactical software-defined radio family designed to support battlespace digitisation and C4I systems. In addition to hierarchical communications, SYNAPS provides a unique collaborative combat capability based on real-time horizontal communications between all the units on the ground. Building on the CONTACT system, the largest software-defined radio programme in Europe, SYNAPS is designed for international markets and meets the requirements of land, air and naval forces.

As the digitisation of the battlespace continues, SYNAPS not only meets the need for hierarchical communications within the command structure but also supports new forms of engagement such as collaborative combat. Like the network of neurons in the human brain, SYNAPS acts as the nervous system of a military deployment, enabling units to detect threats and share information about the tactical situation in real-time and at high data rates. These dual hierarchical and collaborative capabilities support C4I applications (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Intelligence), providing commanders with information superiority and significantly raising the tempo of operations. SYNAPS represents a great leap forward in radiocommunications for the armed forces and is the only system of its kind in the marketplace.

With most military operations now conducted by coalition forces, SYNAPS is built around SDR / SCA technologies compliant with the latest NATO and international coalition standards, most notably the ESSOR (European Secure Software Defined Radio) high-data-rate standard, developed by the armed forces of six European nations (Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden). ESSOR is also a candidate for the NATO specification and standard. In addition, SYNAPS radios are reprogrammable and ready to accommodate new standards in the future.

The launch of SYNAPS heralds a revolution in military radiocommunications, comparable to the transition from 3G to 4G. With unparalleled performance, particularly in terms of operational range and protection, SYNAPS will become the central nervous system of military deployments and enhance command capabilities in collaborative combat operations.
Marc Darmon, Executive Vice-President, Secure Communication

SYNAPS radio communication systems offer user services including voice, messaging, video, chat and Blue Force Tracking simultaneously and with differentiated quality of service, with the most critical data transfers being accorded priority status. SYNAPS also offers excellent range performance and protection against jamming on the battlefield, while optimising use of the frequency spectrum for the same amount of useful data throughput.

SYNAPS radio communication systems provide the optimum combination of data rates, security and connectivity and adapt automatically as operational deployments are reconfigured during a mission.
SYNAPS is suitable for forces of various sizes ranging from a few dozen users to joint brigade level deployments.

Lastly, the new SYNAPS software-defined radio family is designed for all types of users, all platform types and all branches of the armed forces as well as joint, combined arms and allied operations.

Key points:

  • Thales launches SYNAPS, the new broadband tactical software-defined radio family for collaborative combat. The new radio communication systems are designed for international markets and all branches of the armed forces.
  • SYNAPS radio communication systems provide commanders with information superiority, because of their unparalleled range performance, and offer the optimum combination of data rates, security and connectivity.
  • SYNAPS is based on CONTACT, Europe's largest software radio programme, which is contracted by the French Defence Procurement and Technology Agency (DGA) and will equip the French armed forces from 2019.