Britain Signs GBP 200M Contract for FALCON C4ISR System (updated)
BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies (Insyte), has been awarded a contract worth over GBP 200 million (about $350 million at current conversion) to design and manufacture the FALCON communications system for controlling combat operations at corps, divisional and brigade level.
The IP-based FALCON system is due to enter service in 2010, and a recent contract with Thales has brought the program back to our attention.
The system will provide the telephones and data distribution for the RAF when deployed and greatly improve the RAF’s communications. The Bowman tactical system and Cormorant command system will feed information into FALCON, which will be able to link back to UK headquarters using the Skynet 5 satellite communications system. FALCON is intended to have up to 50 times the data throughput capacity of the Ptarmigan, Euromux, and the RAF Transportable Telecommunications System (RTTS) systems it replaces, while offering multi-level security, air mobility, and a reduction in the number of Royal Signals vehicles and personnel needed to support a major headquarters.
Falcon will be supplied in 3 installation types: vehicle-mounted containers, dismounted containers and palletised systems. The vehicles can carry up to 3 people, and all variants can be air-lifted.
In line with the UK’s recently-released Defence Industrial Strategy, FALCON is key to the “Resilient Information Infrastructure” of Network Enabled Capability (NEC). One can expect this contract to influence development of Britain’s transformational new FRES armored vehicles. The project has funding for 3 increments with potential for a 4th.
Aug 21/06: Thales UK announces a contract from BAE Systems worth in excess of GBP 50 million to supply the Transmission and Security Subsystems for the FALCON Programme.
Thales is supplying the Transmission Subsystem (TxSS), which includes the Thales TRC4000 34Mbps Band IV line of sight radio and Ultra GRC-245 Band I/III+ radio. Lightweight composite masts from Mastsystem of Finland integrate with the radios, and Thales is also supplying Cryptographic security components. Thales’ Datacryptor Model 3T Link Encryptors complete the TxSS, and Datacryptor Model 3T IP Packet Network Encryptors from Thales will also be part of FALCON.
See also DID’s June 2005 article re: the future of the tactical radio market.
- UK MoD (Nov 15/07) – Falcon to boost RAF’s battlefield communication capability
(Originally published April 5, 2006)