Siemens Plessey Systems has won a contract to update the army’s Ptarmigan area communications system.
The company, which is in the process of being sold to British Aerospace by its German parent, would not put a figure on the deal.
The upgrade will allow Ptarmigan, which serves communications between larger army units at brigade level and above, to interface with communications satellites like the Ministry of Defence’s Skynet system.
Ptarmigan entered army service in the mid-1980s. Prior to the Gulf conflict it was unable to link with communications satellites as it was only designed for operation in Britain and Germany.
Siemens Plessey said a ‘lash-up’ interface was quickly developed to meet an ‘urgent operational requirement’ when the army’s 1st Armoured Division was sent to the Gulf in 1990-91.
The new upgrade includes hardware and software enhancements for Ptarmigan to interface with separate satellite ground terminals, giving it true worldwide operating capability.