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Rohde & Schwarz win air traffic deal

Supplier News

Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) will supply 520 VHF radio transceivers worth more than $6 million to NEC Australia for use in Airservices Australia’s VHF Systems Upgrade Project.

The company, which has followed the project for more than eight years, was selected as one of two subcontractors by the winning prime contractor NEC Australia. The other subcontractor, Austrian company Frequentis, will supply switching equipment for the project. The radios will be installed at 153 Airservices sites throughout Australia.

“[We attended industry briefing sessions] to maximise our chances of selling radios [for the project],” Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) communications manager Brian Warner told Electronics News. “After eight years, it has gotten to the stage where Airservices had to replace their air traffic control network because the older radios were becoming less supportable, especially the availability of replacement components. By attending the sessions, we either wanted to bid for the project ourselves or supply pricing to all the prime contractors in attendance.”

The XU250A Series 200 radio is specifically designed for use in civil and military air traffic control systems. Already in use worldwide, the company had already deployed 100 units through the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). “The product has a good support base in Australia, is well known and highly reliable,” Warner explains. “Having established proven support channels in Australia also worked in our favour. We weren’t just promising to establish support capabilities if the tender bid was a success.”

Warner expects the deal will act as a further validation of the technology in the region. “South-East Asian countries tend to look to Australia as a benchmark, so the win will be seen by many air traffic control operators as an endorsement of the technology,” Warner adds.

The XU250A covers the frequency band 118 to 144 MHz and has a power output of 50 W.

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