Oulu, Finland, August 8, 2017 – Bittium Wireless Ltd, subsidiary of Bittium Corporation, and the Finnish Defence Forces have signed a Letter of Intent concerning the purchase of new software defined radio (SDR) based tactical radios and the preparations of the purchase. The Letter of Intent encompasses products belonging to the new Bittium Tough SDR product family: tactical handheld radio Bittium Tough SDR Handheld™ and tactical vehicular radio Bittium Tough SDR Vehicular™.
The products are intended for renewing the Finnish Defence Forces’ existing stock of field radios with modern, SDR based broadband data transfer radios to support the reformed combat doctrine. The tactical radios are compatible with Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network™ (TAC WIN) SDR based system already used by the Finnish Defence Forces.
According to the Letter of Intent, Bittium will develop the products with their own R&D investments and the Finnish Defence Forces will support the development work by ensuring that the products are suitable for their purposes and by making preparations for the purchase of the products.
The Letter of Intent does not bind the parties into making a purchase agreement. Making the purchase agreement requires that the Finnish Ministry of Defence first authorizes the purchase, based on which Bittium and the Finnish Defence Forces would then make a separate purchase agreement. Based on the Letter of Intent, if materialized in full, the total value of the purchase agreement would be approximately EUR 130 million distributed over about 10 years. The Letter of Intent is in force until the binding purchase agreement comes into effect or until December 31, 2019. Should the purchase materialize in full, it would have a significant impact on Bittium’s net sales from the year 2019 onwards. The Letter of Intent does not have an effect on Bittium’s financial outlook for the year 2017, published on February 20, 2017 in Bittium’s Financial Statement Bulletin 2016.
The Letter of Intent continues the long-term cooperation between the Finnish Defence Forces and Bittium in developing the performance of the command and control (C2) systems and the supporting software defined radio technology of the Finnish Defence Forces.
“The Letter of Intent is based on both the government resolution on securing the technological and industrial foundation of the Finnish defence, as well as on the technology strategy of the Finnish Defence Forces. With the help of the Letter of Intent the Finnish Defence Forces can advance the development of nationally critical technologies and security of supply. In this cooperation we can define the features of the next generation tactical radios and make sure that we have the possibility to purchase a system that is unique in its performance in leading the mobile troops and forming the situational awareness on the battlefield”, says Colonel Petri Lammi, Joint Systems Centre, the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command.
“We are very pleased with the trust the Finnish Defence Forces have showed us in the form of the Letter of Intent. The Finnish Defence Forces are technologically very advanced and demanding partner and we consider this new step in our long-term cooperation as proof of the high quality of our competence. The new Bittium Tough SDR tactical software defined radio based product family expands our product offering to the market of tactical radios. With our new offering we can serve our domestic customer even better, and at the same we will be more competitive within the international market”, says Mr. Hannu Huttunen, CEO of Bittium.
The Bittium Tough SDR products as subjects of the Letter of Intent and the related R&D investments are part of Bittium’s strategic goal to expand the product offering in tactical communications by significantly growing investments in Bittium’s own products and solutions during 2017, as announced on November 24, 2016. Thus, the investments have been taken into account in the financial outlook for the year 2017. According to the nature of the defense, security and public safety markets, the investments will return profits in the long term, and therefore Bittium plans to activate most of the R&D investments to its balance sheet. Bittium Corporation will publish its Half Year Financial Report January-June 2017 tomorrow, August 9, 2017.
Bittium Tough SDR™ product family
The new Bittium Tough SDR product family includes Bittium Tough SDR Handheld™, tactical handheld radio for individual soldiers, and Bittium Tough SDR Vehicular™, tactical radio for vehicle installations. The radios can be used to produce and share real time situational awareness (location, image, voice, video, and sensor data) to all levels of the organization. This improves the performance and the effectiveness of the tactical troops, and leading the troops is easier based on the up-to-date situational awareness and more reliable connections.
Bittium Tough SDR products can flexibly use the most appropriate waveform with the best fit considering the conditions and the mission, such as Bittium TAC WIN Waveform™, ESSOR HDRWF waveform and Bittium Narrowband Waveform™. The uniquely wide range of frequency bands improves combat usability and enables using the same equipment in different geographical areas. Using several waveforms, even simultaneously, improves compatibility and enables operations on different levels and missions.
The compact-sized and cost-efficient radios are designed to endure event the harshest conditions and they can be easily installed in different surroundings. The devices are easy to use and they offer many options for connecting them with other equipment. Strict information security requirements have been taken into account when designing the Bittium Tough SDR product family and the products can be easily tailored with national encryption algorithms.