US: Thales Defense & Security has secured a contract to provide support services for the US Army's AN/VRC-121 vehicle-integrated power-enhanced rifleman (VIPER) soldier-radio waveform appliqué (SRW-A) radio system. The basic indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a maximum potential value of USD 988 million, and enables the recipients to compete on future orders to support fielding requirements. Under the initial contract, Thales will provide engineering and field service support to evaluate the SRW-A capability during the army's network integration evaluation (NIE) 14.2 exercise. "Our VIPER solution allows for rapid delivery of a low-risk, operationally suitable, highly reliable solution for the army's SRW vehicular radio needs,” said Michael Sheehan, Thales' activities head.
Jointly developed by Thales and Ultralife, the AN/VRC-121 VIPER is a vehicle-mounted SRW radio, designed to extend the operational range of the SRW network by providing 20W of amplification. Specifically, the radio meets the army's requirement for a SRW that can either be used in a stand-alone mode, or installed on to the single channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS) combat-net radio (CNR) vehicular mount. VIPER is fully interoperable with an installed AN/PRC-154A rifleman radio. It can operate in both UHF and L-bands and provides soldiers with access to the government's classified networks for secret and below operations. In addition, the software provides 'jerk and run' access to the installed rifleman radio, enabling a quick transition between mounted and dismounted operations without loss of communications.