PARIS — Thales has launched at the Eurosatory trade show an export version of its software-defined radio. Dubbed Synaps, the hardware is aimed at armed forces that seek to upgrade their tactical radio systems, said Hervé Derrey, director of radio critical communications.

Synaps is based on Contact, a software-defined radio developed under a €3.5 billion (US $4 billion) contract awarded by France in 2012, he told journalists.

The Contact program, managed by the Direction Générale de l'Armement procurement office, is due to equip the French forces in 2019, Thales said.

The broadband system aims to speed up response in the field, with all the elements in a battle group sharing the same network in the concept of "collaborative combat" developed under the French Army's Scorpion modernization program.

The radio is intended to create a shared network and boost bandwidth 10 times that of present systems, allowing voice, data, video links and the delivery of blue force tracking.

A collaborative approach is intended to allow major operational change by speeding up a response against an enemy threat, permitting ground troops to talk directly to helicopter pilots rather than indirectly communicating through their own chain of command.

Services in Britain, Canada, India and Italy, which do not use Thales tactical radios, are seen as potential clients, a senior executive said.

France ordered Contact with plans to hook up the Army, Navy and Air Force onto a single network.

Thales is offering radios designed for land vehicles, handheld systems, helicopters and fighter aircraft.