Germany picks its lead vendor for European tactical radio program

COLOGNE, Germany – The German Ministry of Defense has identified radio specialist Rohde und Schwarz as a national leader in the development of tactical radio for European ground forces.

The definition follows the approval of German legislators at the end of last year to join European Radio for Security Software or ESSOR. The project aims to unify radio equipment operated by the continent’s ground forces, ultimately replacing national variants with a common system.

The availability of hardware that allows multinational forces to communicate seamlessly on the battlefield is a key prerequisite for the European Union’s quest for greater military power. The ESSOR program, founded in 2008, is managed by OCCAR, a pan-European defense agency.

Apart from Germany, the other members of the radio program are Finland, France, Italy, Poland and Spain. Their national leaders in the industry are Bittium, Thales, Leonardo, Radmor and Indra, respectively. All companies are represented in the a4ESSOR joint venture.

Rohde und Schwarz joins the effort, as the “Operational Capacity 1” phase, focusing on the high-speed waveform, has been underway since 2017. This phase “defines the joint development and updating of an interoperable, reliable , a strong and broadband radio wave for related armed forces, “the company said in a statement.

The Munich-based company plans to include its SOVERON D radio in the program, which will be delivered to the German armed forces sometime this year.

The European Radio Program is also included in the group of PESCO initiatives designed to promote multinational defense projects within the bloc through grants from the envisaged European Defense Fund.

Under the EU’s umbrella, officials hope to develop additional waveforms, “for example for specific uses of air operations,” Rohde und Schwarz said in a statement.

The software communication architecture of the Joint Tactical Radio System serves as a plan for ESSOR, according to the program management agency.