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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

03 March 2016

Enfore Tac/IWA 2016: Secure Communications With a Low Price Tag

Thales' SquadNet Radio presented at Encorce Tac 2016 is a new secure, extended-range radio for key decisions. "It is a brand new radio first released at DSEi 2015," the company's Product Line Manager, RCIED & Tactical Radio Secure Communications & Information Systems, told MT. "It is for sale now,, and potential clients have been identified in the military, law enforcement/police, and Special Forces.

Thales' SquadNet Radio presented at Encorce Tac 2016. (Photo: STN)

According to Pitt Marx, THALES' spokesperson and Head of Media Relations, SquadNet is a, "low price, but high-quality product."

The company said the new radio (weighing 250g) can be carried by, "every soldier or policeman," stating that SquadNet enables him greater flexibility and freedom to operate over an extended range. THALES quoted a range of 2,500m, "in the open field."

As to urban operations, its range varies. Thales' Product Line Manager told MT that SquadNet uses a high-sensitivity GPS receiver to provide its user with complete situational awareness. MT understands that this capability helps personnel on the ground view their specific location via the radio's display. SquadNet also allows to utilise a Smartphone or Android-driven Tablet to display each user's position on a map or aerial photograph. Thales describes this functionality as "Blue Force" tracking. Exactly this application makes the radio useful for first responders deployed in the event of a natural disaster or large-scale industrial accident.

Another interesting option is to use an Internet connection to talk over larger distances. "That is good for training (purposes)," THALES' Product Line Manager said in Nuremberg.

The new radio offers up to 28 hours of mission life, "with a single charge," thanks to its high-capacity, rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. Recharging can be done by using every USB-equipped power source, including a Laptop or cigarette lighter in the car.

Stefan Nitschke