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The US Army has awarded Raytheon a contract, valued at $406 million, for software-defined radio (SDR) systems, the company announced on 14 February.

Specifically, the contract, to be performed over the next five years, calls for the production, upgrade and support of up to 5,000 ARC-231A SDR, which will provide the latest secure communications technology for Army helicopters.

Because the ARC-231A is software-defined, it can accommodate rapid upgrades without requiring the radio to be removed from its platform. The latest version of the system recently gained NSA Type 1 certification and delivers secure, classified communications on the battlefield.

“These radios are the backbone of rotary-wing communications,” explained Raytheon Integrated Communications Systems Vice President, Barbara Borgonovi. “The ARC-231A enables US forces to maintain the edge in secure communications, whether they're flying in contested or congested environments.”

The radios will be installed on a variety of Army platforms, including the UH-60 BLACKHAWK, UH-72 LAKOTA utility helicopter and the AH-64 APACHE attack helicopter.

Raytheon ARC-231A software-defined radios will be installed on a number of US Army aviation platforms, including the UH-72 LAKOTA. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

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