Turkey defence vendor Aselsan is working to secure a contract to supply very high frequency (VHF) radios to the Ukrainian armed forces, Defence Express reports.
In 2016, Kiev began the process of selecting a new VHF radio system by issuing a tender, to which Aselsan and Harris Corporation responded. Up to 600 VHF systems could be acquired.
According to Defence Express, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (MoD) will assess each proposal in accordance with the following: cost effectiveness; scalability and application potential; compatibility with the systems used by the Ukrainian Army, Navy and Air Force; NATO compliance; transfer-of-technology, offsets (e.g. co-production) and credit.
In its interview with Defence Express, Aselsan affirmed that the VHF system on offer by the company is its latest product and that key aspects of the Ukrainian MoD requirement, such as technology transfer and customization, is on offer.
Notes & Comments:
Aselsan’s software defined radios (SDR), which are radios with software-driven functions (e.g. signal processing, have been exported to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with local production and customization. As with the competition, Aselsan markets its SDRs as encrypted and jam-resistant solutions.
In Pakistan, Aselsan SDRs have been co-produced at the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) since 2013-2014. In Saudi Arabia, these SDRs are being co-produced locally at Military Industries Corporation (MIC), of which Aselsan is a co-owner. Aselsan assisted MIC with developing its own radio waveforms and software platform, which will enable Riyadh to yield control over the platform.
It appears a comparable package (to the Pakistan and Saudi programs) is being offered to Ukraine. Aselsan SDR suites come in multiple products, such as the PRC/VRC-9661, which can be supplied as a manpack radio (10W), vehicular radio (10W/50W) and base station radio (50W). In terms of financing, the Turkish government is intent on developing the mechanism to drive its exports (it is piloting a $400 million U.S. credit program for the MILGEM Ada corvette sale to Pakistan).