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Switzerland has ordered new radios for its armies. The government in Bern has launched a digitization program. As part of this program, a contract has now been signed for the delivery of a tactical mobile software defined radio network solution. The value of the contract is 276 million euros. The radio equipment will be delivered over a period of six years.

After Germany, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands, Switzerland is the fifth country to introduce these radios for its armed forces.

Neue Funkgeräte für die Schweizer Armee
The E-LynX SDR from Elbit Systems, Photo: Elbit Systems

As part of the Telecommunications of the Army (TK A) project, some of the outdated radio equipment and associated accessories are being replaced. However, this replacement should not take place system by system, while retaining the many interfaces to neighboring systems. Rather, the systems to be replaced should be integrated into an overall concept and thus function as parts of an information and communication technology platform. This procedure enables continuous data exchange and provides the necessary data bandwidths. The army therefore intends to convert the currently diverse system landscape into a uniform telecommunications platform in several procurement steps. The "replacement of components of mobile communication" (Ersa mob Komm) is the second TK A project and was approved with the 2020 armaments program.

The digital mobile radio solution to be delivered is based on the E-LynX family from SDR with open architecture and enables fast and secure communication throughout the Swiss Army. The army-wide E-LynX cellular solution made available to the Swiss Army under this contract includes advanced waveforms and includes the SmarTMR routing solution for integrating different (obsolete, non-IP, IP, etc.) networks as well Vehicle intercom.

The radio devices, also known as PNR-1000, are specially designed to support dismounted soldiers in any terrain. The IP radios offer ad hoc networking (MANet) functions, including automatic multi-hop services for voice and data, which significantly improve situational awareness and operational effectiveness in harsh field conditions. The E-LynX PNR-1000 works in the UHF band with continuous frequency coverage between 225-512 MHz on a very efficient bandwidth of 200 KHz and supports voice, data and blue force tracking (BFT) at the same time.

A sophisticated protocol for media access and the methodology of simultaneous transmission with a unique self-synchronization technique enables every radio in the network to automatically and quickly synchronize with every other radio operating in the same network without the need for an external synchronization source (e .g GPS signal or master station) must be used.

Gerhard Heiming