Jointly developed and manufactured by Thales and General Dynamics, the Rifleman Radio is a lightweight, body worn radio that transmits voice and data simultaneously utilizing the Soldier Radio Waveform. It brings secure (Type 2) squad-level communications to the soldier at the tactical edge of the battlefield network. The radio allows self-forming, ad hoc, voice and data networks and enables any leader at the tactical level to track individual soldier position location information, giving dismounted soldiers a much-needed situational awareness capability. The Rifleman Radio is a core component of the Army's Capability Set 13, which provides network components, associated equipment, and software that will, for the first time, deliver integrated voice and data capabilities to soldiers at the tactical edge.
In January, an operational assessment of the Rifleman Radio was completed by the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. In its first combat use, the radio improved mission effectiveness through enhanced networked communications and situational awareness. During March through May, the Army's 2nd Brigade 1st Armored Division used the Rifleman Radio in Network Integration Evaluation (NIE)* 12.2. The radio performed extremely well in an operational environment, delivering a robust voice and data network to the tactical edge of the battlefield.
"The Rifleman Radio has received a tremendously positive response from the soldiers," said Michael Sheehan, President and CEO of Thales Communications, Inc. "Thales is proud to play a role in the Army 's brigade modernization program by arming our nation 's warfighters with the smallest, lightest, and most power-efficient equipment possible."
As with previous orders, Thales and General Dynamics will manufacture and deliver equal quantities of Rifleman Radios, ensuring that there are two qualified sources and that the radio remains cost competitive prior to transition to competitive Full Rate Production. Thales's Rifleman Radios are manufactured at the company 's Clarksburg, Md., facilities.