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ATLANTIC SIGNAL Receives Second Consecutive Multi-Year / Multi-Million Dollar Nationwide FBI Tactical Communications Contract for Special Operations Units and Hostage Rescue Team

Atlantic Signal has been awarded its second consecutive multi-year contract to supply tactical communication equipment to both the FBI Special Operations Units (SOU) around the country as well as the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) located in Virginia.

Having been awarded its initial nationwide FBI tactical communications contract in 2015, Atlantic Signal was challenged in 2019 with developing the next generation of tactical communications to meet a very different set of expectations.

To address an ever-changing radio landscape, the company developed a new multi-application, programmable push-to-talk that can be set up and customized for each individual operator’s specific preferences. The PTT, known as ‘THE SHIELD Push-to-Talk’, allows the Bureau to operate multiple radio platforms, ICS systems, smart phones, chat programs along with cross- banding capabilities. Additionally, custom plug and play cable accessories were designed for ‘THE SHIELD PTT’ systems.

In an effort to save the Bureau key financial resources, the Bureau-specific ‘SHIELD PTT’ model was designed to be compatible with Atlantic Signal radio and accessory cables already being used in the field from the previous 5 year contract purchases.

In addition to ‘THE SHIELD PTT’, Atlantic Signal co-developed an in-the-ear communication system known simply as ‘THE SHIELD’. While other two-way radio, in-the-ear, tactical communication systems utilize transmit microphones in the ear that pass TX via a bone or air microphone located inside the ear, it was Atlantic Signal’s desire to provide a system that utilized a micro-thin, yet robust, noise canceling boom microphone that could be positioned on either the right or left side of user’s face. Further, rather than use high-priced, multiple sized, regularly replaced ear tips, Atlantic Signal is providing custom earmolds for every operator with a secondary back up included as well. This allows for an individualized custom fit with little to no ear fatigue or dislodging issues. While ‘THE SHIELD’ was designed to also allow for multi-sized, disposable ear tips, the Bureau chose the custom earmold model recommended by Atlantic Signal.

The ‘SHIELD PTT’ was designed to allow the Bureau to ‘launch’ multiple comms systems from a single PTT model – thus, in addition to ‘THE SHIELD’ in-the-ear communication system, the Bureau selected  Atlantic Signal’s 3M/Peltor exclusive ComTac VI headset featuring the all new NIB feature.  The ComTac VI offers a new way to adjust the auditory settings of the headset for each mission. Traditionally, a headset has a set frequency response, and the operator can only increase or decrease the volume. The MAP function provides new advanced ambient listening modes that allow access to a variety of gain settings, but with frequency shaping, to enhance auditory performance in five conditions. The MAP Profiles have been designed with a variety of combat and combat support operations in mind.

NIB enables short-range, headset-to-headset communication in high noise environments, without the use of an external communications radio. The NIB function allows for 4 team members to speak simultaneously, and over 60 people, within a 10 – meter radius, to listen at any given time. Audio transmit is activated by either a voice activated switch (VOX) for hands free operations or by push-to-talk. The VOX switch is adaptive, meaning the threshold to activate will adjust automatically to the noise environment. To help reduce user burden, a tactile button has been added to the left ear cup that allows the user to easily turn on or off the function / and switch from VOX to PTT settings. The Bureau tested the ComTac VI extensively before choosing as there was a strong desire to utilize the NIB technology / capability as a wireless intercom – avoiding the expense and installation of additional hardware albeit it hardwired in a vehicle or aircraft or provided as a mounted/dismounted portable solution. The Bureau also selected the company’s wireless, gun mounted push-to-talk, Lo Vis R23 single and dual ear patrol kits and wired HAHO switch.

“It is an honor for our company to continue to provide two of America’s elite tactical units  communications equipment that meets their most stringent requirements. We began this relationship in the early 2010s when the Bureau’s previous supplier simply failed them. We spent nearly two years fine-tuning a multi-comms solution for them back then which resulted in a 5-year nationwide contract being awarded to our company in 2015. We are honored to receive our second consecutive 5-year contract after once again facing considerable competition during the selection phase,” stated Randall Hedrick, President and Managing General Member of Atlantic Signal.

Atlantic Signal is based out of Topeka, KS where they develop, design, manufacture and sell tactical communications and accessories. The company started in 1989 with a focus on tactical law enforcement. Today the company’s clients include NYPD ESU, LAPD, ATF, USMS, CBP, NSW, MARSOC, USCG and the FBI among thousands of military and law enforcement clients around the world.

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