Marconi bases military test sets on COTS

FORT WORTH, Texas - The American arm of the British firm Marconi Instruments Ltd., is moving into the U.S. military electronics market with a blanket U.S. Navy contract to provide RF test equipment to military and civil agencies.

Apr 1st, 1997
Th Mae71927 9

By John Rhea

FORT WORTH, Texas - The American arm of the British firm Marconi Instruments Ltd., is moving into the U.S. military electronics market with a blanket U.S. Navy contract to provide RF test equipment to military and civil agencies.

Marconi Instruments Inc., of Fort Worth, Texas, won an $11.5 million, 5-year order for about 1,200 of its model 2947 communications service monitors. The instruments simulate a base station or repeater for testing fixed and mobile radios.

Navy officials are buying them for Navy and Marine Corps users, as well as for the U.S. Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration.

The equipment is based entirely on commercial off-the-shelf technology but meets the industry MIL-T 28-800 specification for shipboard vibration, says Sam Strang, Marconi`s U.S. director of national sales. The company has delivered about 500 units to date, he notes.

The U.S. firm is essentially acting as the distributor for the products of the British parent, and is tailoring its products to the American market. An advanced model of the test set, the 2967, is in the works.

Another product that originated in the commercial market and now offered for military field maintenance is the company`s line of counter power meters, CPM 20/46, which combine a frequency counter, power meter, and digital voltmeter in a 7-pound ruggedized instrument.

The idea is to reduce the equipment that personnel have to carry into the field, particularly when they have to climb towers, and Strang says the company has just begun deliveries in this country. The units operate at 20 and 46 GHz.

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The Marconi 2026 MultiSource signal generator is part of the company`s move into the U.S. military electronics market with a Navy contract to provide RF test equipment.

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