Tethered Aerostat Radar System
Tethered Aerostat Radar System

Syntonics Awarded US Foreign Military Sales Contract for FORAX-HARC

Syntonics LLC, announces the award of a $9.1 Million contract to produce 20 FORAX-HARC (High Antennas for Radio Communications) radio range extension payloads plus spares. The equipment is being delivered to a major supplier of tethered aerostats for the U.S. Army, as part of a Foreign Military Sales program for a major U.S. ally. Since 2010, Syntonics has delivered more than 100 HARC aerostat systems and HARC has been continually deployed in CENTCOM’s (Central Command) Area of Responsibility (AOR) since then. Terrestrial FORAX product lines, deployed since 2004 by U.S. DoD, FBI, FEMA. foreign militaries, and industrial customers, moves antennas away from command posts; eliminates the electronic and visual signature of nearby antennas; increases the security of people and equipment in the CP; and enables radios and crypto equipment to be operated inside SCIFs.

FORAX-HARC is based on Syntonics’ proven FORAX (Fiber Optic Remote Antenna eXtension) RF-over-Fiber technology. The lightweight HARC payload enables any tethered aerostat to become a tall antenna tower, increasing line-of-sight and coverage for radio communications. In this contract, Syntonics is delivering twenty (20) six-radio HARC systems, each providing low VHF and UHF antennas high aloft on a tethered aerostat, while up to four (4) low VHF and two (2) UHF radios remain on the ground in the command post (CP). The airborne antennas enable line-of-sight communications over long distances, over obstacles and mountainous terrain, and down into “urban canyons” created by tall buildings. Keeping the radios in the CP reduces aerostat payload weight, keeps the radios convenient and secure, and eliminates operational difficulties in controlling the radios. The six radios’ RF signals are transmitted and received over a single optical fiber in the aerostat’s tether.


Syntonics LLC, a Ironwave Technologies company based in Columbia, Md., is a leading developer of system level RF solutions for mission-critical communications, hostile fire detection and data exfiltration. Ironwave Technologies LLC invests in a variety of RF and microwave technologies. It has several current investments in the space and is actively pursuing additional acquisitions. Ironwave Technologies pioneers tomorrow’s Radio Frequency solutions through its integration of Mu-Del Electronics, American Microwave, Luff Research, and Syntonics. From component level to comprehensive system solutions, Ironwave provides its customers superior alternatives in solving the most complex and sophisticated electronic warfare, secure communication and sensor forward challenges.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.