The global defence company has been tasked with delivering enhanced radio communications capability to the UK Armed Forces.
The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a £110 million ($208 million) contract to Babcock International Group for the delivery of new Defence Strategic Radio Service (DSRS), which leverages Earth’s ionosphere to extend the range of radio signals.
This technology — expected to support the rapid delivery of communications across all domains and terrains — does not require direct-line-of-sight between the transmitter and end user.
The DSRS is also tipped to improve flight safety communications to all military aircraft, while also supporting the ‘mayday’ fallback facility for the broader aviation sector.
The communications system can be used for civilian applications, including mountain rescue and civilian aircraft emergency communications.
The technology also enables integration with communication capabilities of allies, supporting interoperability.
“Babcock is delighted to be awarded the new Defence Strategic Radio Service contract which builds on our extensive experience and knowledge in this field,” Babcock chief executive David Lockwood said.
“In collaboration with both our partners and customer we will work together to deliver a secure, resilient and advanced solution that will ensure DSRS users receive assured services, in support of the critical operations they perform, that are fit for today and ready for tomorrow.
“We are proud to continue our drive to ensure that high frequency (HF) skills and capabilities are maintained in the UK, both now and into the future, through our unique HF Communications BTEC apprenticeship program.”
It is anticipated that Babcock International Group’s nine-year contract will support around 150 jobs across Britain and the UK’s overseas bases.
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“Underpinned by commitments outlined in the Defence Command Paper, industry expertise will be at the core of developing this innovative capability whilst supporting more than 150 jobs in the process,” UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.
Commander of Strategic Command General Sir Patrick Sanders noted the importance of the new DSRS capability.
“It is vital we have a range of robust communications options available to us, including satellite, internet and high frequency, to offer Commanders and decision-makers in the field the information they need at the speed of relevance,” he said.
“As we see a continued rise in threats to our security in the cyber and electromagnetic domain, our network resilience is what will give us the competitive edge against our adversaries.”
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