Air Force orders 1,200 JTRS JEM radios from Thales Communications

HANSCOM AFB, Mass., 16 Nov. 2006. U.S. Air Force officials are ordering more than 1,200 AN/PRC-148 Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) from Thales Communications Inc. in Clarksburg, Md., for tactical air control personnel, security forces, and civil engineering applications, Thales announced today.

Thales won the contract from the JTRS Program Office of the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. The amount of the contract was not released. The AN/PRC-148 is the Cluster 2 JTRS Enhanced Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR), also known as JEM.

The AN/PRC-148 JEM is the first JTRS radio certified for compliance with Software Communications Architecture (SCA).1, and is the only JTRS radio to have successfully completed joint interoperability test command testing, Thales officials say. Testing determined that the AN/PRC-148 JEM is effective and suitable for deployment to the field.

The needs of the warfighter are now met with a low-risk radio that not only incorporates JTRS SCA architecture but has also been user-tested and qualified in operational field conditions.

"The JEM provides the backbone for a system communications solution that will allow the Air Force to migrate toward, and stay on the forefront of, new technology," says Ray Bruhn, manager of Air Force programs at Thales Communications. "It positions them to maximize use of their available resources, meet the mounting challenges of size-, weight-, and power- constrained battlespace environments, and maintain their technological edge."

Based on the combat-proven MBITR and developed under a formal U.S. government program of record, the JEM provides a seamless, cost-effective path to JTRS. The radio uses a proven platform, and provides a JTRS solution that bridges the gap between legacy equipment and future JTRS technologies, Thales officials say.

There are more than 80,000 AN/PRC-148 MBITRs fielded. The radio has taken part in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the global ear on terrorism.

For more information contact Thales Communications online at www.thalescomminc.com.

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