Case Study: U.S. Navy
UPGRADING U.S. NAVY MINESWEEPERS WITH THE AN/URC-143 HF SYSTEM
Background: The U.S. Navy's AVENGER-Class Mine Countermeasure Ships (MCM-1) had a critical space and weight issue. The Navy approached Thales Communications to develop a solution for a
state-of-the-art HF communications system that would improve performance over their legacy systems, while also reducing weight and minimizing space requirements. Additionally, the new upgrade needed to comply with stringent naval requirements on environmental, vibration, and heavyweight shock.
Solution: In 2004, Thales was awarded a 5-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract to modernize communications aboard the MCM-1 Minesweepers with the Thales AN/URC-143, single-rack HF system. The AN/URC-143 HF radio suite is a state-of-the-art system specifically suited to small-to-medium ship applications requiring newest generation, automated, HF waveforms and remote control applications. The radio system is a 2-channel 500 watt transmit, 6-channel receive system supporting Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) to MIL-STD-188-141B. Specifically designed for the most demanding applications, the system meets all requirements on environmentals, vibration, and heavyweight shock to MIL-S-901D. Replacing a legacy system of two half racks and two full racks with a single, AN/URC-143 rack of equipment, Thales Communications has resolved the critical space and weight issue. Thales delivered and installed all 14 shipsets, completing the contract on-time and on-budget. This program demonstrated that the AN/URC-143, a robust maritime HF system, is suitable for small and medium applications.