The History of Thales Defense & Security, Inc. (TDSI)

Our company was founded in 1964 as Racal Communications, Inc. Back then, we focused on the production and fielding of HF receivers for the US defense market. Today, we operate as Thales Defense & Security, Inc. (TDSI), and our business has since grown to include four unique business divisions and three subsidiaries. Our vast, expanding technology portfolio spans air, land and sea operations, while our in-house, full lifecycle engineering to production capabilities specialize in delivering rugged, mission critical defense technologies that enhance the Warfighter’s operational advantage in combat. TDSI is proud of our first-to-market legacy, and we continue to build upon our rich heritage of delivering world class products and services to government and commercial customers across the globe.

TDSI Timeline

Visionix business line moves to 25k square foot facility in Aurora, IL


Visionix business line awarded contract by Korea’s Aerospace Industries to equip F50 fighters for Poland with its Scorpion® Helmet Mounted Display.


TDSI awarded it fifth order, valued at $100M to deliver 4000 handheld IMBITRS for Army Leader Radio Program.


TDSI welcomes retired US Navy Vice Admiral William E. Landry to Proxy Board.


TDSI awarded major US Army Combat Net Radio contract to replace up to 219,000 legacy SINCGARS radio systems.


TDSI acquires full ownership of Advanced Acoustic Concepts (AAC).


TDSI awarded US Army Contract for Combat Net Radio Program.


TDSI awarded order to equip US Air National guard F-16 pilot with Scorpion Helmet Mounted Displays.


TDSI expands its ALFS repair capabilities in the US.


TDSI introduces the Javelin radio to its family of tactical communications products.


Tampa Microwave wins STN.


Tampa Microwave wins US Army for Rader Scout.


TDSI awarded its third order from the US Army to provide IMBITR radios under the Army Leader Radio Program.


TDSI receives first order for Javelin radios in support of US Army’s Single Channel Radio Program.


TDSI receives its fourth order from the US Army to provide IMBITR radio under the Army Leader Radio Program.


TDSI receives International Trade Administration Export Achievement Certificate.


TDSI launches ThalesLINK satellite communication solutions and signs Marlink and Speedcast to expand it official network of resellers.


TDSI adds distinguished board members to guide US organizational direction: General James L. Jones, US Marine Corps (Retired), Dr. Ray O. Johnson, and Mr. Alan Kessler.


TDSI announces it has been become the official communications partner for the IMOCA.


TDSI wins Spear Radio Small Form Factor (SFF) SINCGARS Contract.


Thales eSecurity Federal business merges with TDSI.


TDSI wins Army Leader Radio contract.


Tampa Microwave wins the SOCOM SDN-Lite contract.


TDSI adds additional four resellers for our Mobile Satellite Communications business.


TDSI selected to equip the Army’s new Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFAB) 1 & 2 award.


TDSI awarded $37M US Army contact for new SFAB.


Tampa Microwave expands its facilities.


Thales Sensors & Missile Systems business merges with TDSI.


TDSI launches new PRC6809V radio to its family of tactical communications products.


TDSI deploys our latest IMBITR 2-ch Handheld Radio with Key Army units (82nd Airborne 173rd Airborne, 2nd Cavalry Regiment Stryker).


Universal Battery Charger (UBC) PoR contract w/ US Army PM SWAR


TDSI selected as Iridium Value Added Manufacturer (VAM) and begins development of our new LINK family of Iridium NEXT ground terminals.


TDSI awarded prime contract for JTRS HMS AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio Full Rate Production (FRP).


TDSI awarded Optimized Top Owl (OTO) Helmet Mounted Sight Display (HMSD) Supplier Support contract.


Changed name to Thales Defense & Security, Inc. (TDSI).  Thales USA Defense business merges with TDSI and signs Joint venture agreement with DRS for Advanced Acoustics Concepts (AAC) business.


TDSI completes acquisition of Visionix and expands it avionics portfolio.


TDSI awarded Depot Level Support for AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS) at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE), Jacksonville, Florida



TCI acquires stake in Tampa Microwave, LLC.  TCI acquires Visionix.


TCI receives JTRS HMS AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) 2 contract under General Dynamics C4 Systems prime.


Received Army JTRS HMS AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) 1 contract under General Dynamics C4 Systems prime.


TCI is awarded a role as subcontractor to L-3 Communications on the JP2048 contract in Australia for the HF communications systems aboard two amphibious ships.




TCI delivers the 100,000th MBITR to USSOCOM


The AN/PRC-148 JEM officially becomes the 1st JTRS radio in production with the award by the U.S. Air Force JTRS Program Office, Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, for the purchase of more than 1,200 units.


JTRS Enhanced MBITR (JEM) is SCA certified. TCI merges with MacKay.


Racal Communications, Inc. changes its name to Thales Communications, Inc. (TCI)


RCI acquires RACAL Avionics and wins JTRS contract


RCI wins the 1st production contract for MBITR with SOCOM


RCI wins contract for MSHR radios from the FBI. MSHR is the 1st digital radio produced.


RCI wins contract for Scope Shield II Development Program.


RCI acquires Analytic Communications Systems (ACS)


1st Proxy Agreement signed; Dr. Louis W. Tordella is elected as the 1st Senior Proxy.


RCI acquires REGCO


The Provisional Board of Directors for Racal Communications, Inc. (RCI) decides to manufacture 100 RA-17C12 receivers. This is the 1st official product to be produced by RCI. Racal Communications, Inc. (RCI) incorporated in Delaware. 1st company location is at 8440 Second Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland.

  • Incorporated as Racal Communications in 1964
  • Headquartered in Clarksburg, MD
  • Wholly-owned Subsidiary of Thales
  • Free of Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence
  • Serving Defense, Federal and Commercial Markets
  • MBITR – the World’s 1st multiband handheld radio
  • Now fielding the IMBITR – the world’s first 2-channel handheld radio
  • Approximately 300,000 radios fielded to the US & Coalition Armed Forces
  • World’s smallest man-portable X/Ku/Ka satellite terminals
  • Developing the next generation of Tactical EW Solutions
  • Scorpion HMD selected for Army’s Air Warrior and Air National Guard Programs
  • World’s only full-color HMD coupled with state-of-the-art Motion Tracking
  • Thales’ Combat Management System is the nucleus of the Navy’s firepower
    aboard the Littoral Combat Ship
  • Sole-Source to the USCG and USN for high-power, maritime HF Systems
  • The US Navy standard dipping SONAR technology (ALFS)
  • Industry-leading SWAP design for base station, vehicular and portable terminals