In a strategic partnership with Raytheon, US Amateur Radio equipment manufacturer FlexRadio®has been selected by the US Air Force to adapt its off-the-shelf SmartSDR/FLEX-6000 architecture for HF modernization of airborne communications platforms. The new radio will provide beyond line-of-sight, long distance communications for air crews.
“We are excited to convey that our proven modular direct sampling hardware, Open Waveform API, and IP-based architecture provide a ready platform for agile development to meet 21st century communication needs,” FlexRadio CEO Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR, commented. “Throughout FlexRadio’s history, commercial amateur products have been leveraged into defense products, which in turn, have been leveraged back into commercial products. We are certain that these efforts will cycle back again.”
Youngblood said the deal could boost its Amateur Radio and commercial products and services. “While I can’t go into all the details, the positive impact to our business processes, infrastructure, intellectual property, and human resources will enhance our amateur/commercial products and services,” he said. “So, stay tuned for more amateur product announcements coming soon.”
Raytheon received a $36 million Project Agreement through an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with Consortium Management Group (CMG) on behalf of Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace, in support of requirements from the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, to develop and qualify an HF radio. CMG’s mission “is to speed development of technologies to improve US government capabilities required to sustain US military supremacy in weapon systems information technologies.”
Barbara Borgonovi, vice president of Integrated Communication Systems, said, “Raytheon’s partnership with FlexRadio combines commercial innovation with advanced military hardening techniques to rapidly deliver a next generation operational capability that supports strategic and tactical missions.”
The Raytheon-FlexRadio team is one of two recipients for this development program. After the 31-month period of performance, one team will be named to move on to production.
“Worldwide high-frequency communications is what our commercial customers do every day, using virtually every mode of operation and type of propagation,” Youngblood said. “Our partnership brings together the vast resources and experience of Raytheon in airborne tactical communications systems with FlexRadio’s commercial, off-the-shelf high-frequency software-defined radios to deliver a modular, extensible, and flexible communications platform for the warfighter.”
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