Boeing and Rohde & Schwarz have reached an agreement to offer Rohde & Schwarz’s next-generation software-defined airborne radio (SDAR) into the flight systems of H-47 Chinook helicopters. The R&S SDAR will give operators of the Boeing-built Chinook significant communications capabilities.

This is the first time Rohde & Schwarz’s airborne radios will be available for the H-47 Chinook, adding to the existing supplier footprint in Germany, where Boeing conducts $1.3 billion of business annually with nearly 100 suppliers. Rohde & Schwarz in the U.S. has been a supplier to Boeing since 2006.

Boeing has delivered more than 900 H-47 Chinook helicopters that have been ordered or are operating in 20 countries, including eight NATO nations; Canada, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S., allowing for increased interoperability between NATO nations during joint training and deployment operations worldwide.

Michael Hostetter, director of Boeing's vertical lift programs in Germany, said, “This is yet another example of how we can accommodate unique customer requirements. Customers will enjoy tailorable encryption, frequency hopping, agility and excellent voice and data connectivity advantages compared to conventional radios.”

Stefan Pleyer, vice president of the avionics market segment at Rohde & Schwarz, said, “We are delighted that we are establishing this partnership with Boeing, a partnership that will put the next generation of software-defined airborne radios on Chinook helicopters.”