Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR Sept 2015 Contents SEA 1000
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The U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon Company
a $36 million contract to fund the certification
and testing of a significant upgrade to the AN/
ARC-231 Multi-Mode Communications System.
Announced on August 12, the upgraded systems
will provide the highest level of security for voice
and data communications for more than 7,000
rotary, fixed wing and unmanned Army platforms
– including Apaches, Blackhawks, Chinooks and
The AN/ARC-231 is a VHF/UHF multi-band tactical
communications system that provides high quality,
reliable, secure, internationally compatible and
interoperable voice and data links. The software-
defined AN/ARC-231 is ready for a seamless
transition to the emerging Mobile User Objective
System (MUOS) satellite communications networking
waveform, while retaining full compatibility with
legacy air-to-air and air-to-ground Line of Sight and
SATCOM communication requirements.
The U.S. Army awarded the contract after receiving
the last of 18 Engineering Development Models
(EDM). The AN/ARC-231 advanced hardware design
will offer untapped capabilities to meet emerging
communications requirements through software-only
“The completion of EDM deliveries and the start of
certification testing mark significant milestones for the
AN/ARC-231 upgrade program,” said Scott Whatmough,
vice president of Integrated Communications Systems
for Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business.
“These are critical steps in the process of ensuring Army
aviators have the secure communications capabilities
they need to accomplish their missions in today’s
rapidly evolving threat environment.”
Testing of the upgraded AN/ARC-231, which will
become the newest member of the SkyFire product
family, will be conducted at Raytheon’s facility in
Fort Wayne, Indiana, and at the U.S. Army’s Software
Engineering Directorate laboratory in Huntsville,
Alabama. Testing will ultimately result in full
cryptographic certification for the upgraded system.
NEW ERA AS F90 ASSAULT
RIFLE ENTERS AUSTRALIAN
Thales announced on August 4 that the Australian
Department of Defence has signed a $100 million
contract with Thales to produce rifles, grenade
launchers, spare parts and various ancillaries at
Thales’s facility in Lithgow, regional NSW.
The F90 is a light, versatile weapon that meets the
highest standards of performance and reliability, and
has been well-received by soldiers in various trials.
Kevin Wall, Thales’s Armaments Vice President in
“Our soldiers deserve the best possible equipment,
and the F90 delivers on all counts. Enhancing the
Austeyr is the most cost-effective way to deliver
a capability upgrade, and we’ve worked closely
with Defence and Army units to design, test and
manufacture this world-class weapon. We’re now
looking forward to getting it into troops’ hands
as quickly as possible. The F90 is born from over 100
years of engineering and manufacturing expertise
at Lithgow, and this is the latest chapter
in Lithgow Arms’ long contribution to Australian
In Australian Defence Force (ADF) service, the rifle
will be known as the Enhanced F88 (EF88), marking a
significant enhancement of the original Austeyr F88.
Two versions will be delivered – a standard rifle
with a 20” barrel, plus a carbine with a 16” barrel.
Deliveries to the ADF will begin in the next few weeks
and phased over six years.
Thales is currently exploring export opportunities for
the F90 in various markets around the world, while also
developing further enhancements for the rifle, which is
fitted for but not with electronic architecture including
centralised power as a key future-proofing measure.
See more at: https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/
An Australian Army soldier
from 7th Battalion, Royal
demonstrates the Land 125
soldier combat ensemble
and the enhanced F-88
20/08/2015 4:53:02 PM
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