The US Army has ordered more than 7,000 additional Thales RT-2129 Combat Net Radios (CNRs) under a dual-vendor, multi-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract awarded in March 2022, Thales announced on 11 October 2023.
The initial contract was awarded to both Thales and L3Harris and has a ceiling total value of USD 6 Bn (EUR 5.69 Bn).
The CNR is a single-channel voice and data radio that is part of a holistic effort to phase out legacy Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) mounted and dismounted radios across the US armed forces.
As a fully software-defined radio (SDR), the Thales CNR ensures interoperability with the legacy SINCGARS waveform while enabling the army to quickly add improved waveforms to address evolving requirements. Built around the battle proven AN/PRC-148 handheld family of radios and based on Improved Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (IMBITR) technology, the Thales CNR provides the US Army with “a crypto- modernised tactical radio solution”, Thales stated in a press release. The company added that the US Army order demonstrated “the service’s continued confidence in Thales’ ability to deliver next-generation radios for the army’s network modernisation effort”.
Under the latest award Thales will deliver more than 7,000 RT-2129 Tactical Secure Voice Crypto Interoperability Standard (TSVCIS)-compliant radios.
According to the US Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T), “CNR-enabled communications will be used for voice transmission of command and control between surface and airborne command-and-control assets but will also be used to transmit and receive secure data, including position location information within a network via radio-based situational awareness and will function as a digital data radio.”
The CNR IDIQ contract includes a five-year base and an additional five-year option. PEO C3T says the army “will field to its first CNR-equipped unit in 4QFY24/1QFY25, with final delivery in the 2030 timeframe”.