Thales supports the Irish Defence Forces, providing more than 6,000 Software Defined Radios

17 June 2024 – The Irish Defence Forces have selected Thales to provide Software Defined Radio systems to equip their armed forces. Over 6,000 radios, including SquadNet and SYNAPS radios, will be delivered to Ireland after a successful tender competition including 5 months of field trials. The radios will carry coalition waveforms, including the resilient and secure ESSOR broadband waveform recently promulgated as a NATO standard, which will facilitate the flow of information between allies during international coalition operations as required.

Thales has won a major contract to supply all three branches of the Irish Defence Forces with software-defined radios systems and related support services. The agreement covers the initial provision of over 3,500 SquadNet tactical radios and around 2,500 radios from the SYNAPS product family. The Framework Agreement positions Thales as a key partner for the Irish Defence Forces.

The SquadNet radio system is compact, lightweight, and easy to use and offers 24-hour autonomy, making it ideal for dismounted soldier. In addition to secure voice communications, location display and a data sharing option, SquadNet offers battery recharging and radio programming capabilities. This solution has been adopted notably by the Austrian armed forces.

SYNAPS is based on developments conducted for CONTACT in France, Europe’s largest software radio programme. The contract includes the supply of the entire range of SYNAPS radios: SYNAPS-H hand-held radios for land forces, SYNAPS-V radios for land vehicles and naval vessels, and SYNAPS-A radios for various Air Corps aircraft. This solution has been adopted for instance by the Belgian armed forces.

In addition to the radio equipment, the agreement also includes the provision of digital services to maintain all the radios delivered.

Ireland has chosen to acquire radio systems, which enable interoperability with partner nations on deployment overseas, thanks to the GEOMUX waveform widely deployed in Europe and the secure, resilient ESSOR High Data Rate (HDR) interoperability waveform.

Deliveries to Ireland will have already commenced with the first batch of SquadNet radios delivered in the second quarter of 2024.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the Irish Defence Forces in their drive to modernise their capabilities and pursue their digital transformation. By selecting software-defined radios from Thales, Ireland’s armed forces have the assurance of continuity in their operational missions and a smooth transition to this new radio technology,” said Christophe Salomon, Executive Vice-President, Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales.

Image courtesy Thales