A typical E-Lynx Software Defined Radio set is comprised of a radio, tactical router and vehicle intercom units. Photo: Elbit Systems

Switzerland has selected Elbit Systems to replace vehicular tactical radio equipment currently used by the Swiss military. An initial contract award for the supply of E-Lynx software-defined radios, vehicle intercoms, and headsets is expected to be worth several hundred-millions of Swiss Francs and is subject to Swiss Parliament approvals.

The Swiss Federal Council is expected to submit the procurement to parliament approval as part of the armaments program 2020. “Switzerland is a strategic market for us and we will continue with our efforts to support the Swiss Armed Forces and expand our cooperation with the Swiss industry.” Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented.

The decision followed four years of evaluations of 15 offerors. The last phase included technical testing, troop trials and commercial evaluations of the two foreign finalists – Israel’s Elbit Systems and the German company Rhode & Schwartz, represented by its local subsidiary Roschi Rohde & Schwarz AG. Elbit Systems’ winning offer was determined as “the best value for money… attributed to a slightly better fulfillment of performance and a considerable difference in the commercial sphere,” the Swiss defense ministry announced. Other procurements in the Armed Forces Telecommunications project are still in competition.

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[wlm_ismember]The Swiss armed forces Telecommunications project calls for the replacement of obsolete radio devices and the associated accessories with new software-defined radios. Most of the current tactical radios used by the Swiss military will reach the end of their service life by 2022. Instead of replacing thousands of old combat-net radios with thousands of new radios and data communications devices, the Swiss concept foresees the communications program as an integrated information and agile communications technology platform, providing the exchange of data and voice within the bandwidths available to the ground forces. The project will be carried out in several different procurement phases. Parallel to the supply of communications systems RUAG MRO will establish the Material Competence Centre (MKZ) to support, maintain and repair the devices.

Elbit Systems’ E-Lynx MP Software Defined Radio (SDR). Photo: Elbit Systems

Another element of the telecommunications program is the deployment of 320 line-of-sight broadband radio links provided by Thales Schweiz AG. Thales has won this contract in 2015 and is set to complete the delivery by the end of 2019. Both programs are part of the CHF 3.3 billion FITANIA program that spans through 2026. The mobile communications part of the FITANIA would cost CHF1.8 bn with other parts that consume the remaining CHF1.5 bn. These will involve the construction of a new data center and the construction of the Swiss command and control network.[/wlm_ismember]