Thales has announced that it has won a contract from the US Army worth $37 million to supply its AN/PRC-148C Multiband Inter-Intra Team Radio (IMBITR) handheld radios to the force’s Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFAB), the company announced in a press release. According to the US Army, the SFABs are tasked with providing training, and advising and assisting coalition partner armed forces, with each SFAB comprising 500 officers and non-commissioned officers. As of June 2017, the US Army received funding for the activation of the first two of a planned six SFABs, with the these first two units expected to deploy to assist coalition training efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, with deployments expected during the first quarter of 2018.
According to Thales official literature, the AN/PRC-148C includes TrellisWare’s TSM wideband networking waveform, which is equipping the US Army’s Special Operations Command as its next generation wideband networking waveform. Also included will be other standard waveforms such as SINCGARS and HAVEQUICK-I/II for air-to-ground/ground-to-air communications and the Advanced Narrowband Digital Voice Terminal (ANDVT) waveform which provides low bandwidth secure voice communications. According to Gary Kidwell, directory of business development for the US Army at Thales’ defence and security subsidiary in the United States, deliveries of these radios will begin immediately, and are expected to conclude by the end of the first quarter of 2018. Furthermore, he told MONS that: “These radios will provide simultaneous dual-channel voice and data networks for primary use with the SFAB,” addint that “The flexibility of the radio allows connectivity to coalition forces through common waveforms.”