New military radios operationally approved after final SANDF tests and evaluation

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The long time development and delivery of new combat net radios (CNRs) reached another milestone at the SA Army Signal Formation with final operational testing and evaluation ahead of going into use with SA National Defence Force (SANDF) services and divisions.

The acquisition of the CNRs and associated equipment and hardware, reports SA Army Corporate Communication, allows the wider SANDF to meet all command, control and communication requirements.

On hand for final operational testing and evaluation, presumably at Signal Formation headquarters north of Pretoria, were communication and signals specialists from the Air Force, Army and Navy. The equipment was put through its last tests under the watchful eyes of Project Radiate, the name assigned the CNR acquisition, by contractor Reutech Communications and project manager Armscor.

1 Signal Regiment facilities and personnel were used for CNR final testing and evaluation. Those who made the grade were rewarded with certificates noting competency after testing the CNR system against user requirements.

Part of CNR development saw it in service with SANDF elements deployed in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission there. Conditions there are “wet and nasty” but the radios performed well.

The new tactical radios allow for inter-service and division operability as specified in Project Radiate documentation. The CNRs operate in HF, VHF and UHF frequencies and offer secure voice and data network links for ground to airborne, ground-based and naval applications. Additionally the new radios are backward compatible with older still in service units and can be phased in without problems.

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 were ordered for Project Radiate, with similar numbers of manpack radios.