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United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence Awards 8.33 kHz Communications Program to Thomson-CSF



;Thomson-CSF has been awarded, after competition, a major turnkey contract valued at over £23 million by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence for the upgrade of six fleets of aircraft with new airborne communications systems.
;These will comply with impending ICAO 8.33 kHz channel spacing requirements, whilst also providing the latest fast frequency hopping ECCM technology utilising SATURN (Secure Anti-Jam UHF Radio for NATO) technology. The contract will upgrade Hercules C130 K1 and K2, VC10 tankers, Canberra PR9's, the Royal Navy Jetstream T3 and the Nimrod variants. The aircraft will be installed with a mix of civil " off the shelf " 8.33 kHz voice/data radios (capable of TDMA upgrade) and 30-400 MHz SATURN radios.
Major sub-contractors include British Aerospace, Marshalls Aerospace, FRA Aviation and, notably, the UK MoD's own agency, the Defence Establishment Research Agency at Boscombe Down, which will undertake military aircraft release trials on behalf of the prime contractor.
;Major production and installation is within 1999, driven by need to meet the ICAO deadline of october 1999 for 8.33 kHz channel spacing. The programme will provide the first quantity production launch of the TRA 6021 V/UHF radio, which has been developed in co-operation with Raytheon Systems Company using Thomson-CSF's SATURN technology.
;The contract is the first major prime contract award for any communications supplier in the competitive SATURN market. The same equipment is now under evaluation for the UK MoD's Naval helicopter SATURN competition and has been selected and ordered by GKN-Westland Helicopters Ltd for the development programme for the UK Army's WAH-64 Apache helicopter communications upgrade.

Note
;The contract was awarded to Thomson-CSF Communications, part of Thomson-CSF Comsys, one of Thomson-CSF's eight business groups. Thomson-CSF Comsys ranks No. 1 in Europe and No. 3 worldwide in the defense communications market, generating revenues worth 1.1 billion euros with a global workforce of 7,000.

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United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence Awards 8.33 kHz Communications Program to Thomson-CSF