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Industry News

International Report

February 1, 2001
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Martin Streetly, International Correspondent


Rhode & Schwarz Launches Bluetooth Testers


German contractor Rhode & Schwarz has launched what it claims to be the first multi-standard tester that is capable of parallel mobile-radio and Bluetooth testing during equipment development, production and service. Designated as the CMU200 equipment, Rhode & Schwarz describe the system as incorporating two independent measuring and signaling units that cover a frequency range of 10 MHz to 2.7 GHz. CMU200 is further noted as being optimised for accuracy of measurement, speed and ease of operation. Overall, the company claims that CMU200 offers major advances in absolute accuracy of measurement (through the use of 'innovative' temperature-controlled error correction) and throughput. Here, the increase in measurement speed is attributed to the use of digital and parallel signal processing. CMU200 has a power consumption of 130 W and is air-cooled.

Alongside CMU200, Rhode & Schwarz has developed the PTW60 test platform for Bluetooth protocols. PTW60 is described as supporting the Bluetooth qualification regime developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group organisation. To meet these requirements, PTW60 offers pre-configured test scenarios for signalling at baseband, link manager and L2CAP protocol layers as well as at a variety of specific profiles. The use of C libraries as programming interfaces is noted as facilitating the generation of user generated test scripts in both C and C++.

Greeks Select F-16 EW Package


Greece's recently ordered F-16 Block 52+ Peace Xenia III fighters will be equipped with a defensive aids suite (DAS) that will include elements of Israeli contractor Elisra's Airborne Self-Protection Suite (ASPS), a Raytheon Electronic Systems radar jammer and a BAE Systems North America -- Integrated Defense Solutions AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispensing system (CMDS). Selected for use by the Israeli Air Force, ASPS is understood to incorporate the SPS-3000 threat warning and SPJ-40 radar jamming sub-systems, and it is the former element that is thought to be involved in the Greek F-16 deal. For its part, Raytheon Electronic Systems has already supplied the Hellenic Air Force with the DIAS variant of its 6.5 to 18 GHz AN/ALQ-187 detector-jammer for use aboard its A-7, F/RF-4 and F-16 Block 30/50 platforms. While not confirmed, it seems likely that the jammer for the new application will be in some way related to the DIAS system. Existing Greek F-16 Block 30/50 aircraft are equipped with a variant of the Litton/Raytheon/BAE Systems North America -- Integrated Defense Solutions mix and match Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suite (ASPIS). Here, the specific application is understood to comprise Litton's AN/ALR-66(V)H1 (Block 30 aircraft) or AN/ALR-93(V)1 (Block 50) radar warning receiver, Raytheon's DIAS jammer and BAE Systems' AN/ALE-47 CMDS.

Germany Awards SAABTECH RWR Development Contract


Swedish electronics contractor SaabTech Electronics has been awarded a US$20.8 M adaptation and qualification contract as a first phase in a programme that could eventually see the company supplying up to 170 radar warning receivers (RWR) for retrofit to German Tornado Interdiction and Strike (IDS) aircraft. SaabTech will receive a full production award relating to the effort by the middle of next year. While perhaps not known globally as an RWR house, SaabTech Electronics (formerly CelsiusTech) has supplied RWRs to the Swedish Air Force since the mid-1960s and was awarded a contract covering the development and supply of a combined RWR/electronic support system for Sweden's latest generation Gripen combat aircraft during 1999. Here, SaabTech is producing equipment that incorporates wideband instantaneous frequency measuring and narrow band superheterodyne receivers, a 'unique' pulse processor/de-interleaver and a radar-warning computer. The system being developed for Germany is not a variant of the described Gripen architecture.

European Contractor Clarification


In the latest round of what seems to be a never ending series of company name changes and/or consolidations, French defence electronics contractor Thomson-CSF has re-branded itself Thales to better reflect its global (rather than national) status. As a result, name changes within the company include Thales Air Defence (formerly Thomson-CSF AIRSYS); Thales Avionics (formerly Thomson Racal Avionics); Thales Avionique (formerly SEXTANT Avionique); Thales Communications (formerly Thomson-CSF Communications); Thales Defence (formerly Thomson Racal Defence's operations at Wells and Bracknell in the UK); Thales Optronics (formerly Thomson-CSF Optronics); Thales Sensors (formerly Thomson Racal Defence's Crawley, UK operation) and Thales Systems Aeroportes (formerly Thomson-CSF DETEXIS). Readers should also note that UK countermeasures dispenser/reconnaissance sensor house W Vinten is now an Avimo Group company and is therefore part owned by Thales. Equally, at the time of going to press, no clarification had been received as to what Thales' Dutch radar subsidiary Signaal is to be called.

Elsewhere in Europe, the former DaimlerChrysler Aerospace electronic warfare (EW) businesses have been restructured in the wake of the parent company becoming European Aeronautic, Defence and Space (EADS) Deutschland. As such, the company's airborne radar, EW, reconnaissance, avionics and identification friend-or-foe businesses have been folded into the Ulm, Germany-based EADS Deutschland Airborne Systems Division. Elsewhere, most of its communications band EW products are now handled by the Ulm-based EADS EWATION GmbH. Alongside (it is assumed) supporting former DaimlerChrysler Aerospace products, EADS EWATION is a joint venture partner with South Africa's Grintek EWATION in the MRCM product line. Here, MRCM badged communications EW systems include the MRR narrow band monitoring and MRS search receiver families, the Polygon and Telegon II MRD series direction-finders, the Sigma II mobile direction-finding system, a range of specialist antennas and ancillaries, the Maigret II naval electronic support system and the Cicada family of active jammers. It remains unclear as to where the bulk of the former DaimlerChrysler's naval EW business resides within the new structure.

Siemens Wins Brazilian DSL Contract


Brazilian telecommunications provider Telefonica is procuring broadband access technology from German contractor Siemens Information and Communication Networks with which to upgrade its existing narrowband network. The first phase of the effort expected to see 15,000 digital subscriber line (DSL) connections installed in the Brazilian state of São Paulo by the end of December 2000. Phase two (a framework agreement for which already exists) will see up to 500,000 additional DSL connections ordered during this year. At the heart of the programme is Siemens XpressLink DSL access multiplexer that provides video-on-demand, Internet and local area network services in addition to standard subscriber network access, using existing telephone lines. Siemens notes that XpressLink has been specifically designed for mass rollout deployment with regard to system scalability and mass provisioning. The architecture is further described as offering highly integrated DSL cards that can support ADSL, G.lite, SDSL and VDSL protocols. *

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