PARIS, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Thales has been contracted to perform a midlife communications system update to Royal Navy Type 23 frigates.
he U.K. Ministry of Defense award is worth more than $26.5 million.
Thales said the modernization it will perform involves replacing the analog External Communications Voice Distribution and Management System on the frigates with a fully digital system.
"This is a significant win for Thales as it builds upon our position with the Royal Navy as the leading supplier of naval communications products and services for the fleet," said Hervé Derrey, vice-president for Radio Communications Products at Thales. "The Thales Team has successfully developed an innovative and competitive solution, including unique approaches to integrating the system into the legacy platforms with minimal impact, always a key requirement of the customer."
The modernization is the first phase of the fleet-wide Project Calliope to progressively update the majority of terrestrial communications systems fitted across the Royal Navy surface fleet and some Royal Fleet Auxiliary platforms.
"I am pleased to be awarding the ... contract to Thales -- their design offers a compelling solution providing value for money through life," said Carolyn Bellars, the MOD's Defense Equipment & Support Maritime Combat Systems Communications and Situational Awareness Team Leader.
The replacement system "represents a significant improvement in technology terms and the Thales solution brings things right up to date."
The replacement of the systems will begin in the spring of 2017.