Procurement: Combat Survivor Evader Locator


November 30, 2007: The U.S. Air Force has ordered another 15,452 CSEL (Combat Survivor Evader Locator) radios[PHOTO]. First introduced in late 2000, CSEL has GPS capability, and many ease of use features. For example, the user need only press one button to send his GPS coordinates (via an encrypted message) to friendly rescue forces. CSEL has five data channels (military satellite, commercial satellite for areas not covered by military birds, VHF and UHF. Thus the CSEL eliminates problems with earlier rescue radios; the inability to transmit over the horizon or from confined places (like canyons).

Since 2000, some 16,000 CSELs have been delivered, for use by aircrew in all services. Each CSEL costs about $7,000. CSEL weighs a little under two pounds, can stay submerged for five minutes, and will survive being dropped four feet to a hard surface (rock or concrete). It allows two way voice communication and has a small LCD display.


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