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Thales to provide tactical radios to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on behalf of US and UK governments


Thales has received a contract to provide PRC-6809 multiband inter/intra team radios (MBITR) and TRC 3700 HF tactical radios to the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC). The project, funded by the US Department of State under project ‘AFRICAP’, and supported by the UK Embassy, will contribute to stabilisation and security sector reform. The provision of these first radios being deployed in the country will enhance the command and control capabilities of the FARDC.

The purpose of the project is to provide tactical communications and training to the FARDC for a rapid reaction force made up of 12 battalions. The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will deploy the battalions nationally, focusing initially in the North and East of the country, in support of ongoing stabilisation projects.

Thales was selected for the first phase of the project by Protection Strategies Incorporated, a prime contractor to the US Department of State, and will provide equipment and a training package to a single FARDC battalion, being trained by the US government.

The tactical radios are proven to be robust and reliable in rigorous military operations and are capable of meeting and sustaining the communication requirements of the FARDC. The handheld PRC-6809 MBITR, part of the AN/PRC-148 family of tactical software-defined communications equipment, offers a wideband VHF and UHF solution, plugging into a manpack or vehicle adapter for enhanced capability. The TRC 3700 HF handheld tactical radio is able to securely transmit both voice and data over large distances to support command and control systems.

“Thales UK is proud to support the continuous development and stabilisation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” says Victor Chavez, deputy Chief Executive of Thales UK. “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.”

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Notes to editors
Thales was down-selected as preferred supplier in September 2009 as a result of a competitive tender process. The equipment contract from Protection Strategies Incorporated and the training contract from the Defence section of the UK Embassy in the DRC were awarded to Thales in June 2010.

The radios and training package will be deployed in October 2010. Deployment of equipment to the remaining battalions is subject to achieving future funding from the international community.

The AN/PRC-148 tactical radio systems have been in service since 2000, with almost 200,000 radios deployed worldwide – more military handhelds than any other provider.

The Thales MBITR system is the handheld radio of choice for the US Army and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and is in use in 28 countries around the world. The TRC 3700 radio, an update of the 3000 SKYF@ST HF radio, was first introduced in 1996 and has been deployed and combat proven in over 30 different countries including 10 NATO countries.

About Thales and Thales UK

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2009 the company generated revenues of £11.5 billion (€12.9 billion), with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

Thales UK employs 8,500 staff based at 40 locations. In 2009 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.5 billion.


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