French Army sources have told MONS that the force plans to enhance the capabilities of its manpack Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) jammers over the next twelve months. The sources continued that the enhancement will take the form of a software upgrade which will be rolled out across the army’s fleet of C-IED jammers. This software update will be performed to enable the jammers to jam radio frequency activated IEDs more effectively, while ensuring that friendly communications are not adversely affected by jamming.

Currently, the French Army’s capabilities in this regard enable the jamming of frequencies across a 20 megahertz to six gigahertz frequency band. Sources continued that current manpack C-IED jamming capabilities can typically cover an area the size of a soccer field. Although not confirmed by the sources, it is possible that the C-IED jammers are being readied for the advent of future so-called ‘5G’ cellular communications which are expected to become available across Europe and the wider world over the next five years. The man pack C-IED fleet will need to be ready to jam the waveforms and propagation techniques used by this new generation of cell phones as and when they become available.

Thomas Withington

The BlocPhone system is one of several C-IED manpack jammers used by the French Army. (Thomas Withington)

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