R&S®M3AR Family of VHF/UHF Radios in F-16 for Poland

Software defined radios with SATURN In December 2002, the Polish air force chose the multirole F-16 fighterjet and ordered 48 of the Block 52 version to replace its older MiG fighter aircraft. By selecting this aircraft, Poland’s air force now has one of the most powerful multirole fighter aircraft in NATO.

The entire package includes a newly designed communications suite that is based on the Rohde & Schwarz R&S®M3AR family of VHF/UHF radios for voice and data communications. Providing the SATURN (second generation anti-jam tactical UHF radio for NATO) fast frequency hopping method, the R&S®M3AR family meets the requirements of the Polish air force for maximum security and interoperability in the field of radiocommunications.

This marks the first time that Lockheed Martin has integrated a modern software defined radio such as the R&S®M3AR including EPM(ECCM) waveform into the F-16 and fully qualified it. The radios had to be exposed to all possible combinations of physically implementable environmental extremes for this purpose. In particular, response to temperature fluctuations and different supply voltages was tested. The radios passed all functional tests with flying colors and also met all specific interface requirements.

The new F-16 /DBlock 52 is offered with the R&S®M3AR from Rohde&Schwarz included as standard export equipment. In 2006, Lockheed Martin and Rohde & Schwarz signed a contract to supply this equipment.

Digitally Right on Schedule

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is forging ahead with the digitization of its voice and data communications – a job that cannot be finished overnight, of course, but one which will take several years. The plans for this undertaking are complete. Going back to 2006, the RTAF anticipated that it would implement a command and control (C2) system and a tactical data link in key projects within a period of four years. The modernization of the Royal Thai Air Defense System (RTADS) into a completely IP-based system is already in full swing. In 2010, the RTAF will start setting up a network centric system. And after 2010, expansions of the tactical data link and further steps are planned as part of a long-term process.

The globally proven R&S®M3xR families of software defined radios and the R&S®SECOS 5 / 16 TDMA waveform will be used in many of these projects. They are an excellent basis for the development of national data link systems because they offer crucial advantages:

  • National independence regarding encryption
  • Full adaptability to national requirements
  • Open interfaces for future modifications and expansions
  • Outstanding price/performance ratio

These obvious advantages convince many customers to have their own data link systems developed instead of investing in off-the-shelf systems that ultimately cannot offer this flexibility and independence.

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