International Report

Swiss Award Portable Radars Contract to Lockheed Martin

In order to meet the objective of providing short-range air defense throughout Switzerland, Lockheed Martin has signed a contract with the Swiss Defense Procurement Agency to provide 24 Portable Search and Target Acquisition Radars (PSTAR).

Typically, PSTAR interfaces with a weapons system such as a Stinger anti-aircraft missile. This will be the case in Switzerland and is one of the key reasons why it was chosen. As Kurt Kohler, the Defense Procurement Agency program manager explained, "Currently, our Stinger fire unit is coordinated by human observers who are dependent on daylight and high visibility. PSTAR meets our requirements for working well under any visibility and it will replace our human observers to keep Stinger alerted 24 hours a day."

The PSTARs, which will be delivered from July 2004 to December 2004, are the first of a next generation radar system called PSTAR-Extended Range (PSTAR-ER). Its range has been expanded from 20 km to more than 30 km, while still fitting into the same small package. The result is that a PSTAR and its associated transit cases fit into the back of a standard military vehicle such as an M-998-series high mobility multiwheeled vehicle (HUMMV) and can be set up in 15 minutes or less by two people. Switzerland will deploy its PSTARs on customized trailers containing a mast, which will allow the radar antenna to be elevated above its normal height.

Satcom Support for British Forces from BAE Systems

The UK Defence Communications Services Agency (DCSA) has awarded BAE Systems C4ISR a contract for the supply of an additional two Dagger vehicle-borne and two Talon man-portable high capacity satellite communications systems to support British Forces' network enabled capabilities (NEC) during field operations. This will mean that following delivery of this equipment this month (March 2003), some nine Dagger and 19 Talon systems will be in service with UK and NATO forces.

Dagger is a Land Rover-mounted modular military and civil band satellite communications system designed for rapid deployment and ease of use in difficult operational domains with minimal manpower requirements. It is available in a number of variants to meet differing roles. These include serving the needs of tactical military headquarters, civil disaster relief operations and as a GSM network hub.

Whereas Talon is a man-portable system embodying similar commercial off-the-shelf technology as Dagger, conceived as a lightweight deployable terminal to fulfill both tactical and strategic deployments, each of the cases containing the Talon terminal is man-portable, being within a two-man lift capability. It can operate in any of the C-, X-, Ku- or Ka-bands, with a simple change of the feed arm and some key electronic components to effect the transition.

Commenting on being awarded the contract, Paul Laity, managing director of the UK-based Communications and Defence Infrastructure Division, said, "This reflects the capability of BAE Systems C4ISR to deliver remote satellite-based terminal equipment and NEC services to military users seeking robust communications solutions. It also demonstrates our ability to supply front-line users with cost-effective proven products in very short timescales to support the UK's international defense commitments."

Triumvirate to Bridge Generation Gap in China

With the aim of accelerating the migration from second- to third-generation networks in China, Datang Mobile, Royal Philips Electronics and Samsung Electronics have formed a joint venture company, named T3G. The company will design and license core TD-SCDMA chipsets and reference designs for mobile terminals and end-user equipment. The aim being to provide a complete solution (reference design, hardware and software) for handset manufacturers and cellular phone design houses in order to speed up the production of the first commercial TD-SCDMA handsets, likely to be available in 2004.

The collaboration combines Datang's TD-SCDMA expertise, Philips' cutting-edge semiconductor design and process capability, and Samsung's leadership in mobile handset creation. Each partner has invested considerable resources, including capital, technology, personnel and marketing. As a result, T3G plans to produce core chipsets and reference designs for TD-SCDMA/GSM (GPRS) dual-mode mobile handsets that will be brought to market by Samsung and other handset manufacturers.

TD-SCDMA technology, developed by Datang and Siemens, is designed to reduce the current bottlenecks in the development of 3G handsets by providing benefits including reduced power consumption and improved standby time. It provides the operators with a standard that will enable the migration from existing GSM/GPRS networks to the third-generation functionality without major infrastructure changes. TD-SCDMA enables dual-mode 2G/3G phones to provide transparent access to services delivered over different networks. Consequently, operators can implement 3G overlay networks in line with market demand. In addition, TD-SCDMA is well suited for utilizing unused spectrum to create additional capacity and for adoption in major metropolitan centers.

Commenting on the future development and business model of T3G, Johan Pross, CEO of the newly formed company, stated that, "T3G is an autonomous company and the three venture partners will allow the company to expand in the market independently. T3G will also be in a position to form broad strategic alliances and provide open access to the technology."

ORC Puts RFI to the Test in Japan

To strengthen its program to provide support for current and next generation wireless products, Japan's largest instrument rental company, ORIX Rentec Corp. (ORC), has enlisted the expertise of Radio Frequency Investigation Ltd (RFI).

At the ORC test facility in Tokyo wireless conformance services are being introduced, and RFI has been appointed to provide laboratory support, training, project management and sales support for the rollout of these new services. These will include Bluetooth conformance testing using the validated BiTE test platforms from CETECOM and also testing using Schmid & Partner's DASY 4 system. As part of the initiative RFI's contract is for two years, during which time Bluetooth and Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) testing and conformance services will be established.

The two companies are also working closely on next-generation wireless systems, with ORC investing heavily in high end test platforms to support 3G and setting up a direct rental operation in the UK supporting UK and European cellular clients.

Thales Goes Under Surveillance in Turkey

Thales has signed with the Turkish government the MELTEM contract for the supply of Maritime Patrol and Maritime Surveillance Systems to the Turkish Navy and the Turkish Coast Guard. The amount of the global contract, which is in the range of $400 M, concerns supplying a batch of nine systems integrated into the existing modified CN 235 aircraft and an additional quantity of 10 systems to be integrated into new platforms.

The Thales solution is based on the powerful Airborne Maritime Situation Control System (AMASCOS), which is designed around an up to date tactical command subsystem with the latest generation of sensor suites including radar, ESM, acoustics and communications. In the framework of the program, Thales undertakes to significantly cooperate in high technology activities with key Turkish industrial partners.