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BAE Systems Introduces First-Responder System Compatible with Radio Systems


NASHUA, New Hampshire — BAE Systems has introduced a version of its first responder communications system that is compatible with trunked and conventional radio systems. The new system allows complete communications interoperability for police agencies, fire departments, and other first responders using otherwise incompatible radio systems.

The company’s First InterComm™ system enables first responders to communicate using existing radios and different frequencies, providing immediate interoperability when multiple agencies arrive at an incident scene. The new version, vehicle communications assembly Model 200, or VCA200, will link all radio equipment in common use today.

“With the added capability to communicate with trunked radios, the First InterComm system provides complete interoperability at a fraction of the cost of other available systems,” said Bob Ehrlich, First InterComm program manager for BAE Systems.

The First InterComm system consists of vehicle-mounted units that link radios operating on different frequencies without the need for towers or other costly infrastructure. It also allows the creation of “talk groups” to eliminate distractions resulting from too many people talking on the radio at the same time.

The VCA200 will connect radio systems when responding agencies arrive at an incident, enabling trunked radio systems to communicate with all other trunked and conventional systems. Like its predecessor, the First InterComm VCA100 system, the VCA200 is capable of exchanging voice, video, geo-location information, and other data.

Federal funding is available to purchase interoperability equipment, including the First InterComm system. Funding opportunities include Urban Area Security Initiative Grants and Assistance to Firefighters Grants, both administered by the Department of Homeland Security.


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