Boeing News Isn't All Bad

Boeing Defense, Space & Security announced it has won $13.6 million in contracts to upgrade USAF Combat Survivor Evader Locator handheld radios.

St. Louis-based Boeing Defense, Space & Security has won $13.6 million in contracts to upgrade USAF Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) handheld radios with new capabilities to enable faster search and rescue of isolated personnel and to upgrade the CSEL ultrahigh frequency base stations, the company announced Jan. 18.

"These new contracts confirm that Boeing is meeting our commitments to provide our military customers with world-class, next-generation communications capabilities," Boeing CSEL Program Manager Steve Capps said in a news release. "CSEL provides the U.S. military with the strategic advantage of an easy-to-use, multi-function radio that has already played a critical role in numerous successful rescues involving downed combat forces and pilots."

Upgrading the base stations will bring the CSEL network up to the latest Information Assurance standards that protect networks from outside intrusion, according to the release. "There's never been anything like CSEL for search and rescue," said Air Force Lt. Matthew Renner, previously a CSEL test engineer with the Joint Program Office for Personnel Recovery at Hanscom Air Force Base. "These new capabilities can reduce rescue time and give isolated personnel another option to get home safely. The pilots we've worked with are really excited about it."

The company reported more than 54,400 CSEL radios have been delivered to the U.S. military to date.

Parent company Boeing meanwhile is dealing with the worldwide grounding of all currently operating 787 Dreamliner aircraft following two incidents involving the planes' lithium ion batteries.

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