October Radio Roundup

Armada’s monthly round-up of all the latest military communications news in the product, programme and operational domains.

New Antennas

This year’s DSEI exhibition held in London between 12th and 15th September showcased several new products in the tactical communications domain. Alaris Holdings exhibited its Cojot steerable antenna which the company says is now in service with undisclosed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) customers. The Cojot product family includes several steerable antennas, each of which cover specific wavebands. The family as a whole covers a range of frequencies from one gigahertz/GHz up to six gigahertz. These wavebands make them ideal for land forces communications applications. The electrically steerable antennas cover a 360-degree radius and are housed in a cylindrical covering. Company officials told Armada that Alaris is looking to expand the Cojot offering into the maritime and uninhabited aerial vehicle domains. The officials continued that these applications could be available to customers within the next six months. Plans are also afoot to expand the wavebands covered by the antenna family downwards to 400 megahertz and upwards to eight gigahertz.

New Barrett Handheld

Other new products in the tactical communications domain showcased during this year’s DSEI exhibition included Barrett Communications’ new 4080 dual-channel Very High Frequency (VHF) radio. Covering a waveband of 30 Megahertz/MHz to 147.5 MHz, the handheld radio can be used with several different amplifiers. On its own, the handheld radio produces five watts/W of power. When teamed with the backpack amplifier this increases to 20W and then 50W for the fixed base station amplifier. Company officials told Armada that data rates of up to 192 kilobits-per-second are achievable. They added that the radio can host an array of waveforms, although declined to provide specifics and said that undisclosed customers are receiving deliveries. The officials mooted several applications for the 4080. These include supporting troops who need to regularly use two channels for their mission such as forward air controllers.

by Dr. Thomas Withington