Thales Communications this week will announce that its Liberty multiband radio has been certified to meet the Factory Mutual (FM) Approval Standard 3610:1988 for intrinsically safe equipment, which is designed to ensure that gear will not trigger ignition in the presence of flammable or combustible material.

While the Thales Liberty radio — a multiband, software-defined P25 portable that works in the VHF, UHF and 700/800 MHz bands — has been commercially available for some time, the intrinsically safe version of the Liberty radio features a different battery and design to meet the FM Approval standard, said Steve Nichols, Thales Communications’ director of homeland security and public safety.

Having an intrinsically safe version of the Liberty radio is expected to allow Thales to address a market need, Nichols said.

“We’ve been specifically asked by a number of customers — in particular, the U.S. Coast Guard and some industrial companies — who have been looking for this for some time,” Nichols said. “The good news is that we can move forward to meet their needs with a multiband solution that is intrinsically safe.”

Thales Communications President and CEO Mike Sheehan echoed this sentiment.

“Agencies now have an intrinsic-safe option available in a full-spectrum multiband,” Sheehan said in a prepared statement. “Successful completion of the testing further illustrates Thales’s dedication to providing interoperability to all users, including those working in hazardous environments.”