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13 June 2016

Eurosatory 2016: Thales SYNAPS “accelerates collaborative combat”

The first day of Eurosatory 2016 in Paris today was seized by Thales as the opportunity to launch SYNAPS, its new range of software defined radio (SDR) that, in the words of Hervé Derrey, the company’s Radio Communications Product Lead, is designed “to accelerate collaborative combat.”

Derived from the company’s established CONTACT programme, which is already in extensive use across the entire French armed forces, the SYNAPS range of SDRs leverages both technology and operational experience in providing what Derrey describes as “the dream of every battlefield commander – instant flat networking of data and communications.”

The ability to provide mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) for information up to and including secret classification offers users immediately obvious advantages and should be seen as “the nervous system of the battlefield,” according to Derrey. Sharing of transverse information in an electronically dense and potentially hostile environment, the ability to create new communities of interest on the fly and the integration of data from a bewildering variety of sources, while keeping system complexity hidden from the user means that small unit operations can now enjoy true information superiority.

SYNAPS, to a degree, might be considered as the export version of CONTACT. “We have opened up CONTACT to be able to provide for sovereign requirements of potential customers: they will be able to integrate their own waveforms and their own levels of crypto security where needed and still obtain full system advantages,” says Derrey.

Pre launch interest from potential customers has been strong, says Derrey. “They can see that this provides them with a considerable leap forward in their existing capabilities.”