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The Slovak Air Force will receive 14 F-16 Block 70 VIPER combat aircraft in the middle of this decade, equipped with Rohde & Schwarz secure communications systems, the Munich-based independent technology group announced on 5 July. Rohde & Schwarz is the preferred supplier of airborne radiocommunications for new-build VIPERs – the latest, most advanced F-16 production configuration.

To be equipped with the AN/ARC-238 software-defined radio (SDR) – which is the US designation for the R&S MR6000R/L system – the Slovak VIPERs will also benefit from the facilities afforded by the R&S URST universal radio test set. The system consists of two transceivers: a remote-controlled transceiver installed in the avionic bay, and a transceiver in the cockpit, accessible by a local control panel. Both cover the frequency range 30-400MHz and support NATO frequency-hopping algorithms (TRANSEC) HAVE QUICK II and SATURN.

Our software-defined airborne radios are a game-changer for any air force that flies the F-16,” commented Stefan Pleyer, the company’s VP Market Segment Avionics.

The Slovak Air Force is the latest service that has procured new-build F-16 aircraft equipped with Rohde & Schwarz secure communications. (Image: Lockheed Martin)

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