Project Radiate a springboard for Reutech radios


The South African National Defence Force’s Project Radiate to replace existing radios has functioned as a springboard for electronics company Reutech, which is marketing the range internationally.

Reutech Communications was present at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi last week and was promoting its new range of interoperable HF to UHF radios as used for Project Radiate. “There has been a lot of interest at IDEX,” said Johan Volschenk, Regional Head: South Asia at Reutech Communications.

Volschenk told defenceWeb the Project Radiate radios are ready for production and Reutech is ready to market them elsewhere – he noted that Radiate was the springboard for the sale of the radios overseas. He said the Middle East area offered good synergy for Reutech products. However, as companies like Harris and Thales are well entrenched in the Middle East area, so Reutech has not done much business in the region.

The Radiate-type radios, like the MCR2005 manpack system, have features like frequency hopping, built in datalink, embedded electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM), GPS, antenna matching system, SMS capability and USB, Ethernet and Bluetooth interfaces.

Reutech offers a wide variety of military radios for ground, sea and air applications. The Project Radiate radios encompass short, medium and long range communication systems, such as the V/UHF MCR3005, the VHF MCR2005 manpack system, the MCR1025 HF manpack, the vehicular V/UHF VCR2050 and VCR3020 radios and the HF VCR1100. The FCR5050, HF FCR1100, PCR4001 and VCR4001 radios will follow at a later stage.

The first phase of Radiate deliveries should take place in 2013 – these will involve vehicle and manpack radios. The other radios will gradually be phased in over several years. Since the new radios are backward compatible with old sets, they can be phased in smoothly.

All Reutech’s landward radios are Link-ZA compatible and feature encryption, frequency hopping and an onboard GPS receiver for situational awareness. The radios Reutech is supplying to the SANDF as part of Radiate were designed as a family from the start for ease of use across all systems in terms of logistics and human-machine interface functionality.

Around 4 000 vehicle radios will be produced for Project Radiate, and similar numbers of manpack radios will be produced. Around a thousand radios will be delivered every year.

The SA Army and its sister services still use the A53 and A55 hardware-defined manpack VHF radios and their vehicle-mounted stablemates, the B57 and B56, in service since at least the mid-1970s. This was joined by the digital C21 HF radio in the 1990s.

Reutech also specialises in radar systems, logistic support, artillery fuzes and remote turrets.