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Satnews Daily
July 11th, 2017

Rohde & Schwarz and BAAINBw's Contract for Advanced TacComms for German Armed Forces

Following many years of joint development, the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has signed a contract with Rohde & Schwarz for the procurement of the SVFuA, which is an advance measure in the "Mobile Tactical Communications" (MoTaKo program for digitizing tactical communications within the German Armed Forces.

SVFuA operates on the principle of the software defined radio (SDR) and offers secure, trustworthy communications up to the classification level SECRET. Rohde & Schwarz drew on their own in-house cryptology development as a key national technology. Initially, 50 command vehicles — PUMA infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) and BOXER armored transport vehicles (ATV) — will be equipped. Rohde & Schwarz will produce and deliver the first installment of the overall SVFuA system by 2020. The contract’s framework agreement allows the Federal Armed Forces to order additional SVFuA systems within a seven-year timeframe.

In 2009, Rohde & Schwarz was given the responsibility for the overall design and the overall system, as well as for developing a prototype base unit and proving that such could be series produced. In 2016, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) confirmed that the requirements for certification at the classification level SECRET had been met. Certification in line with the internationally recognized Software Communications Architecture (SCA) standard for SDR radio systems was a prerequisite for customer acceptance. Since the radio system was developed in line with the SCA standard, it is possible to port current and future national and international waveforms onto the radio system as long as these waveforms also meet the requirements set out in the SCA standard.

The SVFuA gives the German Armed Forces all the tools needed to create and especially protect information superiority and also ensures interfaces with allies during joint missions and for collective defense. With the acquisition of the SVFuA, the German Armed Forces are taking the first step in modernizing its tactical communications within the framework of the MoTaKo program. To support these projects over the long-term, Rohde & Schwarz has established a joint venture with Rheinmetall AG for the purpose of submitting a tender as a general contractor.

Hartmut Jäschke, the SVP of Market Segment Secure Communications Sales and Projects at Rohde & Schwarz, explained that with the SVFuA system, the German Armed Forces lays the foundation for state-of-the-art, future-ready, tactical communications. Rohde & Schwarz fulfills all of the customer's requirements for a scalable, reconfigurable, and future-proof overall system. The company has demonstrated the implementation of current third-party waveforms on the software defined radio while preserving intellectual property rights, satisfying today's requirements for interoperability with partners.

Harald Stein,the  President of BAAINBw, added that quipping the first PUMA and BOXER command vehicles with SVFuA is an important first step toward MoTaKo and with Rohde & Schwarz, a technologically-leading partner for this key modernization project has been found.