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German contractor Rohde & Schwarz (R & S) has been awarded a several million Euro contract to supply the Brazilian Air Force with an initial tranche of 152 108 to 400 MHz band M3AR transceivers for installation aboard EMB-314 ALX light strike aircraft that will be employed in Brazil's Sistema de Vigiláncia da Amazónia (SIVAM) programme. Developed over a number of years, SIVAM brings together surveillance and enforcement tools with which to police the Amazon basin and prevent illegal logging, mineral exploitation and smuggling activities in the region. Already procured for use aboard Sweden's JAS 39 Gripen multi-role combat aircraft, M3AR is the airborne version of R & S's Series 6000 family of software-driven, multi-band, multi-function communications systems and is designed to handle normal and electronically protected voice and data traffic. At the time of going to press, M3AR was understood to be available in cockpit, remote control and military data bus variants. As such, the device offers 25 kHz channel spacing in all bands (8.33 kHz in the 118 to 137 MHz sub-band) and is capable of amplitude/frequency and frequency shift keying modulations. Receiver sensitivity (10 dB (S+N)/N) is given as being -101 dBm with an audio output of between 200 and 250 mW. System weight is approximately 4.5 kg. At the time of the contract's announcement, deliveries of M3AR transceivers to Brazil were scheduled to begin during 2002 for a 2003 initial operating capability. Equally, R & S was anticipating supplying a second tranche of 46 such radios into the described programme.
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