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Thales UK wins Congo army radio contract

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Of Congo (UPI) Jul 20, 2010
Thales has received a contract to provide PRC-6809 multiband inter/intra team radios and TRC 3700 HF tactical radios to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The contract is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Africa Peacekeeping Program, AFRICAP, and also is supported by the U.K. Embassy in the Congo.

The purpose of the project is to provide tactical communications and training to the army of the Congo for a rapid reaction force made up of 12 battalions.

The Congolese government will deploy the battalions nationally in support of ongoing stabilization projects, focusing initially in the north and east of the country.

Thales's U.K. division will provide the equipment and essential training for the radios to a single army battalion that is being trained by the U.S. government. Deployment of the radios, along with training packages, is expected in October. Deployment to the remaining battalions is subject to funding from the international community, Thales said.

Protection Strategies Inc, a prime contractor to the Department of State, selected Thales in September 2009 after a competitive tender, and just after PSI was appointed to the AFRICAP program.

The State Department awarded Protection Strategies, a global provider of logistics and training support services, one of four indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts under AFRICAP.

The contracts, each with a ceiling of $375 million, provide training and advisory services, equipment procurement, logistical support services, and construction services to African countries.

Thales's handheld PRC-6809 MBITR, part of the AN/PRC-148 family of tactical software-defined communications equipment, has a wide band VHF and UHF solution and can be plugging into a man-pack or vehicle adapter.

The TRC 3700 HF handheld tactical radio securely transmits both voice and data over long distances to support command and control systems.

"Thales UK is proud to support the continuous development and stabilization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo," Victor Chavez, deputy chief executive of Thales UK, said.

"Our tactical communications systems will offer cost-effective handheld radios to the Congolese armed forces and meet the needs of interoperability and communication in harsh environments."

The AN/PRC-148 tactical radio systems have been in service since 2000, with almost 200,000 units in use worldwide.

The Thales MBITR system is used by the U.S. Army and Special Operations Command, as well as in 28 other countries.

The TRC 3700 radio is an update of the 3000 SKYF@ST HF radio. It was introduced in 1996 and is used in more than 30 countries, including 10 NATO countries.

Thales UK employs 8,500 people at 40 locations and in 2009 had revenues of around $2.3 billion.

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