TYR Tactical

Thales Selected By The U.S. Army For Its VIPER Mounted Rifleman Radio System


Thales Defense & Security, Inc. has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract by the U.S. Army for its Soldier Radio Waveform Appliqué (SRW-A) radio system—the AN/VRC-121 Vehicle Integrated Power Enhanced Rifleman, or VIPER.

Developed jointly with Ultralife Corporation’s Communications Systems business, VIPER responds to the U.S. Army’s requirement for a single channel, vehicle mounted radio running SRW that can be installed into the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) Combat Net Radio (CNR) vehicular mount or used in a stand?alone configuration. The radio system provides an independent or second channel solution for vehicle communications installations, acting as a conduit for voice and data between the dismounted soldier, mounted platforms, the Unit, and higher headquarters. VIPER provides soldiers with access to the government’s classified networks for Secret and below operations.

VIPER integrates, and interacts seamlessly, with an installed AN/PRC-154A Rifleman Radio. The Rifleman Radio, which was co-developed, and is being co-manufactured, by Thales and General Dynamics C4 Systems under the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit program of record, has been fully tested, certified, and deployed. With more than 19,000 Rifleman Radios manufactured, the VIPER solution ensures that the U.S. Army has immediate interoperability with currently fielded radios, while soldiers gain greater operational flexibility due to its ability to operate in both UHF and Lbands. VIPER provides “Jerk and Run” access to the installed Rifleman Radio, enabling a quick transition between mounted and dismounted operations without losing communications.

“We appreciate the importance of working closely with the U.S. Army in providing our warfighters with mission-critical capabilities,” said Michael Sheehan, in charge of Defense & Security activities for Thales in the U.S. “Our VIPER solution allows for rapid delivery of a low-risk, operationally suitable, highly reliable solution for the Army’s SRW vehicular radio needs.”

The basic IDIQ contract, awarded to four companies, allows the companies to compete on future orders to support fielding requirements. The total potential IDIQ contract value is $988 Million. The initial contract award is for engineering and field service support to evaluate the SRW-A capability during the U.S. Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.2 in May 2014.

Thales’ VIPER and Rifleman Radio products are manufactured at the company’s Clarksburg, Md., facilities.



6 Responses to “Thales Selected By The U.S. Army For Its VIPER Mounted Rifleman Radio System”

  1. PLiner says:

    The Riflemans radio is the biggest piece of junk it isn’t funny. This whole “suite” of radios is so convoluted and requires an incredible amount of effort to set up a net and run that it takes months to train the S-6 shop pax how to set it up and use it properly. It’s a joke and a huge waste of money.

  2. Ben says:

    Awarding another contract to Thales was a mistake, the rifleman radio system is terrible.

  3. Alan says:

    Let me echo the above two sentiments…sucks & huge waste of money. Thales equipment,as a whole, has always been hit or moss, where as Harris has been pretty good every time.

    And no, I do not work for Harris. I am just a Soldier.

  4. Airborne_fister says:

    In Afghanistan. I had a 152 and a 148. I could talk to planes on the 152. Yet with the 148 I couldn’t talk to the dude standing next to me. But some of my guys could hear me. Thales equipment is a pos. Harris is awesome. I’ll hump a 117 with extra batteries and a sat com antenna before I would have to try to sit on an op with only the 148.

  5. Ben says:

    Pretty much, never had an issue with my 152, carried an ASIP for any long period of time we would be stationary.

    Now I’m forced to carry a 154A which consistently loses comms after only a few hundred meters, it just doesn’t make sense to me to carry a radio with no screen on it either.

  6. Aaron says:

    Everything we use is line of site.

    If you think you’ll still have comms with a 152 outside LOS, you’re lying to yourself. Having interoperability on a mounted platform however, makes little sense because we have the 155 which operates those channels. 155 has two radios in it, a 154 only has one.

    I just got off mission where my 155 was all kinds of fucked and only had troop/company net. My Rifleman had platoon going and I used that with the hand mic clipped above me. Worked great.

    Networks and nodes, SRW etc, it’s now magic and I understand nothing anymore.