Pentagon calls on Thales, Harris for radio deals

Thales Communications and Harris have received indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts from the Pentagon to provide software-defined, single-channel handheld radios to the military, the Defense Department announced this week.

The contracts have a potential value of $3.5 billion and $2.7 billion, respectively, according to a June 18 DOD statement. Both contracts include four one-year options, which could bring the total value of the deals to $9 billion for Thales, and $7 billion for Harris, the statement says.

Under the arrangement, the two companies will compete for individual delivery orders, according to the statement.

Harris will supply its Falcon III AN/PRC-152 handheld tactical radios, the company said in a June 20 statement. Officials at Thales were still preparing a statement with details about the deal at press time, a company spokeswoman said.

The contracts will help consolidate handheld-radio purchases across the services to reduce unit costs, the DOD statement notes. The department considers the radios provided by the two companies interim solutions, according to the statement.

The Pentagon's Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System certifies commercial radios as JTRS-compliant, as the military moves to field software radios capable of communicating across service boundaries.

Sebastian Sprenger writes for Federal Computer Week, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

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