The golden age of wireless.
In early-July 2013 the Strategy Analytics consultancy company based in the United States predicted good news for the global military tactical communications market. Its Ground Communications Systems and Components Forecast 2012-2022 predicted that the market will grow at a rate of 7.2 percent annually, reaching up to $4.5 billion by the end of the forecast period. The report added that handheld transceivers will constitute the bulk of the market, encompassing 49 percent of the market value, and 94 percent of shipments. This is perhaps unsurprising given that armies will tend to always have far more handheld sets in their possession and on order, compared to vehicular or fixed-site transceivers. In addition, although single-band radios will still be in demand, the analysis predicts that the demand for multiband radios, i.e. which can cover the 3-30 Megahertz (Mhz) High Frequency (HF), 30-300Mhz Very High Frequency (VHF) and 300-3000Mhz Ultra High Frequency (UHF) sections of the spectrum will increase. Despite the squeeze on defence spending being witnessed in the United States at present, the country is still predicted to be the biggest spender on tactical radio products despite the extensive reorganization of the erstwhile Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) initiative.
Indeed, undoubtedly one of the biggest upsets in the tactical radios world over the past twelve months has been the extensive restructuring of the United States' Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). The rationale behind the JTRS programme was to replace a host of disparate radios in use across the country's armed forces with a family of software-defined radios (SDRs) which would use a set of waveforms to perform their specific functions, as opposed to having a large, diverse range of radios across platforms and personnel which would not neatly intermesh with one another.
The JTRS was to be developed under the auspices of its own Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) which had been established in 2005 to manage to the various elements of the JTRS programme. These included the now-defunct Ground Mobile Radio (GMR), the Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Fit (HMS), the Airborne, Maritime and Fixed Station (AMF) radios, the Multifunction Information Distribution System (MIDS) and the Network Enterprise Domain (NED).
As discussed below, the Ground Mobile Radio has now been replaced by the Multitier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR), although the HMS initiative has survived. In addition, the AMF and MIDS work strands have also avoided the axe, although it is of note that these respective programmes have now been transferred to the auspices of the services. For example, the HMS and AMF projects are now under the supervision of the US Army, along with the MNVR programme, with the MIDS work falling under the purview of the US Navy. The NED work strand, meanwhile, has been renamed as the Joint Tactical Network (JTN) programme and is now under the responsibility of the newly-established Joint Tactical Networking Centre (JTNC), which is responsible for ensuring that the waveforms and technology developed as a consequence of the JTRS programme, and which are continuing development, can interoperate with one another as per the original spirit of the programme. The JTNC is also tasked with developing the waveforms that the future communications systems being procured will use. In essence, while the formal JTRS programme may now be dead and buried a significant quantity of the programme's original scope lives on.
For the US Army, even with the restructuring of the JTRS programme, the procurement of its future communications remains a major undertaking. Up to 120,000 handheld radios, which fall under the auspices of the HMS undertaking have still to be procured. This will occur under the full-rate production phase of the Rifleman Radio project (see below). In addition the service has to acquire 68,000 manpack transceivers and up to 2,000 vehicular systems as part of the MNVR scheme, not to mention the potential acquisition of up to 7,000 networking radios for airborne forces. All in all, this could generate a bill of up to $750 million.
Concerning the Rifleman Radio, so far, two low-rate initial production projects have seen 19,327 Thales/General Dynamics AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radios being ordered as part of the original HMS element. A similar LRIP has seen General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins tapped for 3,726 AN/PRC-155 manpacks. The Rifleman radio has survived the demise of the US armed forces JTRS initiative, along with several other facets of that programme discussed in this article. Although thousands of AN/PRC-154 sets are currently being procured, the US Army is re-opening the Rifleman procurement. This will see a number of companies lining up to provide the army with new radios as the Rifleman programme moves towards full rate production. Contenders include Harris, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and ITT Exelis, in addition to Thales and General Dynamics. Contracts for the Rifleman full rate production and the full rate production for the manpack radios are expected to be awarded in 2014.
To truly comprehend the JTRS programme, one needs to understand a little about the system it will replace, namely the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (Sincgars), and the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) and Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW).
The Sincgars is not a specific brand of transceiver but instead refers to a range of radios in use with the United States armed forces, and with a number of Allied nations which are configured to use the Sincgars protocol. The use of this protocol enables interoperability between Sincgars-equipped nations. The Sincgars effectively provides the basis to the philosophy which underpinned the JTRS programme. Sincgars radios handle voice and data communications across 25khz channels in the VHF range. These radios are available in vehicular, rnanpack, airborne and handheld configurations and can perform both single-frequency and frequency-hopping transmissions, the latter being performed at 111 hops-per-second. Both ITT Exelis and General Dynamics were, and remain, heavily involved in the Sincgars programme. In fact, ITT Exelis (or 'ITT' as the company was then known), won the contract in November 1983 for the first Sincgars radio to equip ground troops, with General Dynamics being awarded a further ground radio contract in July 1988. The new radios which will be procured via the erstwhile JTRS programme will support the Sincgars waveform. This is crucial as it will enable soldiers using these legacy systems to communicate with their counterparts equipped with the new systems. It will also allow those US allies equipped with Sincgars radios to do the same thing. Therefore, although Sincgars was originally designed to replace the Vietnam-era radios used by the Americans there, it remains a very important tactical radio system. In fact, the United States is expected to retain the Sincgars in use until circa 2030 as it introduces its new replacement radios. This underlines just how important interoperability is between the ex-JTRS and Sincgars domains.
While the Sincgars provided a quantum leap in connectivity and security on the battlefield, it was primarily designed as a voice radio. During the Cold War when the main threat to Nato was the spectre of Red Army troops dashing through the Fulda Gap and Hof Corridor this was not deemed a problem. However the so-called 'Revolution in Military Affairs' theory on the supremacy of technological power on the battlefield-which evolved in the 1970s and 1980s, but which had gained prominence in the 1990s and the post-Cold War era-served to increasingly heighten the importance of the distribution of data and imagery on the battlefield. The Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW), developed as part of the JTRS programme, is a reflection of this phenomenon. In essence, the SRW provides mobile ad hoc data and voice communications in the hands of the individual soldier.
The challenge behind its development was to provide a secure and high bandwidth means of communication which could survive the rigours of the battlefield, and most importantly attempts to disrupt communications, and still function. This had to be achieved using low power, small and lightweight radios. It is a rule of thumb in communications that much can be achieved with huge amounts of power and lots of circuitry. As the civilian mobile phone world has illustrated, slimming down from a 1980s brick-sized mobile into a trim smartphone can be quite a challenge, and quite a cost. The SRW is being rolled out across the US armed forces in a series of software increments, which allows the new SRW standards to be easily ported into radios as and when they are developed, in a similar fashion to a software upgrade for a civilian cellphone.
For all intents and purposes, the SRW 'links upwards' to the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW). Whereas the SRW has spectrum allotments of 1.2Mhz to move its voice, imagery and data traffic, the WNW supports similar allotments, but can also support allotments of three or five megahertz, and even 30 megahertz when available. This translates into a higher throughput of traffic. Whereas individual soldiers are the primary users of the SRW, the WNW is designed to provide a communications backbone knitting together ground and air platforms. Because such platforms tend to have more power and more space, this can translate into higher quantities of voice, data and imagery traffic which their radios can handle.
* BAE SYSTEMS
This British-based defence company, which has a major presence in North America, is heavily involved an important element of the erstwhile JTRS programme. In particular, the firm has developed the Wideband Networking Waveform Anti Jam (WNW-AJ) mode. BAE Systems recently demonstrated the anti-jam mode of the WNW using the firms' own Phoenix radios during a test performed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst which demonstrated that these radios could securely communicate with one another across rugged terrain.
The Phoenix family includes the Phoenix-SC, Phoenix-2C and Phoenix-4C. Designed as MNVRs, these radios can port not only existing waveforms, but waveforms expected to become available in the future. The Phoenix-SC accommodates two channels for WNW and SRW communications, the latter of which is used by dismounted troops to connect them to a network, plus two Sincgars channels. This enables the radio to link with existing transceivers running Sincgars-compatible waveforms, while also running the WNW and SRW waveforms developed as a result of JTRS. This therefore provides a useful linkage between legacy and future US and Allied tactical radios. The Phoenix-2C, meanwhile, provides two channels for WNW and SRW communications, with the Phoenix-4C supporting the same waveforms, but via four channels.
In December 2012, Australia's Barrett Communications announced that it had received certification and approval from the United States National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) which completes interoperability requirements to allow Barrett's 2050HF transceiver, 2020 fax and data product, and 2060HF telephone interconnect system to be acquired and used by governmental or commercial bodies in the United States. The company's 2050HF transceiver covers the 1.6-30 Megahertz (Mhz) frequency spread, and is certified to Military Standard 188-141B (Mil-Std-188-141B) for Automatic Link Establishment. Optional frequency hopping can be installed in the transceiver to enhance security, and the system also meets Mil-Std-810G for resistance to shock, vibration, dust ingress and drop. Up to 500 programmable channels are included, and it can operate in temperatures of -30[degrees]C up to +70[degrees]C.
The 2050HF transceiver is one of three such products manufactured by Barrett Communications. The firms' 2030HF SSB transceiver has an HF transmit frequency range of 1.6-30Mhz, and a reception range of 250 kilohertz (Khz) to 30Mhz. The radio has up to 500 programmable channels and can work in similarly harsh temperatures to the 2050HF. Like the latter product, the 2030HF can include optional frequency hopping which it can achieve at a rate of five or 25 hops-per-second when using an external synchronization unit. It also complies to Mil-Std-810 regulations. Barrett's 2060HF manpack has similar transmit and receive frequencies to the two transceivers discussed above, and can host up to 500 simplex or semi-duplex channels.
Following Codan's launch of its Envoy SDR HF radios in June 2012, the company has begun shipping transceivers. When it was released Codan stated that the Envoy was; "the most advanced commercial HF radio in the world." Several standard features are included on the Envoy, such as Automatic Link Establishment; high-speed data transmissions and reception; a built-in Global Positioning System and encryption. Moreover, the radio can be optimized for base station, mobile and deployed operations. Ease of operation has been built into the Envoy with the addition of an icon-based user interface in a similar fashion to that which can be found on civilian smartphones. An Internet Protocol (IP) interface makes it easy to integrate the Envoy into established communications networks. Although the destination of the first shipments of Envoy radios was not revealed by Codan, the firm did announce that the transceivers commenced deliveries in December 2012.
While the restricting and onward march of the United States' overarching military communications modernization programme formally known as JTRS (see above), was in evidence last year, it was revealed that Datron World Communications' PRC-7700HH HF tactical manpack radio had received Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) certification. In particular this. certified the radio to MIL-STD-188-141B. What this means in practice is that the radio meets interoperability and performance requirements for medium- and high-frequency radios particularly as regards to Automatic Link Establishment. Datron's PRC-7700H is an HF SDR which can be used as a fixed site, or as a manpack radio. It has a transmit power of up to 25W and supports both voice and data communications.
Portugal's EID was celebrating the news in July 2013 that it had been contracted by the armed forces of Bangladesh to supply CD-116 Digital Field Switchboards which will support the Bangladeshi Army's tactical communications system. The CD-116 is designed for networks carrying voice and data traffic. It can manage a number of diverse communications systems. These can include analogue telephones, combat net radios, analogue and digital public communications networks, and digital terminals carrying voice and data traffic.
* ELBIT SYSTEMS
Maintaining a prominent presence at last year's Eurosatory exhibition in Paris, Israel's Elbit Systems is promoting its tactical radios which are designed to meet a wide range of user requirements. During the show, the firm showcased its PNR-1000A, SDR-7200HH, SDR-7200, MIPR and CNR-9000HDR; all of which are marketed under the company's Tadiran product line. The PNR-1000A covers the VHF/UHF 225-512Mhz range and is designed as a full duplex personal radio for dismounted soldiers. Three power outputs are achievable with the set namely settings of 0.5, 1W and 2W. Although the radio has a data rate of up to 320 kilobits-per-second (kbps), this is expected to increase to 1 megabit-per-second (mbps) in the future. Battery power provides sufficient operation for up to 20 hours' use, and the radio can function in temperatures of -30[degrees]C up to +65[degrees]C.
Elbit's SDR-7200HH is, like the PNR-1000A, a handheld, software-defined radio. It can offer simultaneous voice and video, or voice and data communications using a single 25khz narrowband channel. Covering the HF/VHF/UHF 30-512Mhz range, the SDR-7200HH provides communications security and a high degree of resistance to countermeasures. The radio is SCA-2.2 standard compliant and includes both narrowband (30-512Mhz) and wideband (225-512Mhz) waveforms in the radio's repository. When using the narrowband waveform, the radio can move 115kbps but this increases to 1 mbps when the wideband waveform is utilized. A built-in GPS is included to aid blue force tracking, and the company says that this radio is interoperable with legacy Tadiran transceivers. All of this functionality is enclosed in a package weighing 650 grams, including the battery, which provides 14 hours' operation.
The SDR-7200FIH's sister product, the SDR-7200, is a vehicular software-defined radio. Simultaneous voice and data traffic can be handled by the SDR-7200 which has a narrow waveband of 25Khz to handle up to 115kbps, in a similar fashion to the SDR-7200HH discussed above. SCA-2.2 compliant, the SDR-7200 uses frequency hopping to preserve security and can port both current, and future, waveforms. Meanwhile, the company's MI PR (Military IP Radio) has been designed to provide high-speed broadband communications services on the battlefield, handling up to 13.3mbps of traffic to this end. This allows real-time delivery of voice, imagery and data communications across the L-band, although there is the option to also use the radio for U, S and C-band communications. An embedded GPS is included along with AES-256 standard encryption, jammer rejection and frequency hopping security. MIPR has a flexible channel bandwidth of between 0.4Mhz up to 400Mhz, and it produces ten watts of output power. Both line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight connectivity can be achieved with MIPR, even at speeds of up to 300 kilometres-per-hour.
Last, but by no means least, the CNR-9000HDR is a family of VHF transceivers which provide data, voice and imagery communications. The radios cover the 30-88Mhz range, although with an option for this to be increased to 108Mhz. Each radio contains up to 100 preset channels, and can scan up to four pre-selected channels with the radios providing both fixed-frequency and frequency-hopping communications. In its manpack configuration (PRC-930HDR), the radio has a power output of 0.25W or ten watts. Similar output is obtainable with the ARC-920HDR airborne radio, while the vehicular and base station VRC-950HDR, VRC-980HDR and VRC-990HDR sets can deliver 0.25W, 10W and 20W of output.
Tactical communications for the Finnish armed forces took an important step forward with Elektrobit fulfilling deliveries of the first elements of the Finnish Defence Forces' new Tactical Wireless Internet Protocol (TWIP) network. The company had signed a contract for the TWIP in 2011 and its introduction will enable the Finnish Army to develop Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs) via the employment of standalone wireless broadband networks. This is an important consideration for the Finnish armed forces given the inhospitable and isolated areas which characterize some parts of Finland.
* GENERAL DYNAMICS
In America, tactical radio specialist General Dynamics has certified and ported the Mobile User Objective System (Muos) and integrated waveform into the US Navy's AN/USC-61 Digital Modular Radio. By adding the Muos waveform to the AN/USC-61, this radio can now access the Muos next-generation narrowband satellite communications system which will facilitate global high-speed voice and data communications. The Muos has already been applied to the company's AN/PRC-155 manpack radio. The Integrated Waveform, meanwhile, improves the performance of communications networks hosted by satellite constellations.
General Dynamics was contracted to install the Muos waveform in the AN/PRC-155 as this greatly increases the performance of these manpack radios by adding a satcom capability alongside the SRW and WNW waveforms which the AN/PRC-155 already hosts, plus its legacy Sincgars capabilities. The AN/PRC-155 manpack has two channels which enables troops to run one waveform, such as the SRW on one channel, while the second channel can be used to connect with comrades on another network, perhaps using one of the Sincgars waveforms, for example. The addition of Muos to the AN/PRC-155 allows users to not only connect with others in their locale, but also to reach thousands of miles from their location given that the Muos waveform bounces off a satellite constellation. Crucially, the Muos waveform boasts speeds up to ten times faster than those achievable using existing Department of Defense UHF satcom networks. The US Army tasked General Dynamics to roll the Muos upgrade onto 100 AN/PRC-155 transceivers. Tests have already occurred demonstrating the abilities of these radios to perform radio-to-radio voice and data communications using the Muos waveform across an orbiting Muos satellite. The company claimed that this marked the first such occasion during which tactical radios had communicated with one another suing both the Muos waveform and constellation.
The initial order for the AN/PRC-155 manpack was made by the US Army in November 2012. Worth $306 million the order calls for the delivery of up to 3,726 examples, split between General Dynamics and Harris, to equip several US Army Brigade Combat Teams. Deliveries of the AN/PRC-155 to the army commenced the same month as the order. This was because General Dynamics had already commenced production of this radio, and accompanying vehicle integration systems in anticipation of the contract. However, the November 2012 order does not represent the first order of the AN/PRC-155. In July 2011, the US Army made an initial purchase of 100 AN/PRC-155s. As noted above, the Department of Defense is expected to open the Full Rate Production portion of the manpack element of the HMS programme to competition.
Moreover, the US Army's 4th Brigade Combat Team (4th BCT) is now using the Increment-2 release of the company's Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), which has included the deployment of WIN-T to Afghanistan. As orders stand at present, the US Army has requested 532 WIN-T nodes. The WIN-T Increment-2 provides a secure backbone between troops and their commanders at the company level. In addition, commanders can link to higher echelons directly from their vehicle. Both the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman and AN/PRC-155 manpack radios can connect to the WIN-T network. WIN-T was essentially conceived to provide digital communications to mobile and highly dispersed forces. Increment-1 of WIN-T provides at-the-halt networking via the provision of voice, data and imagery communications. The attraction is that troops using WIN-T Increment-1 can perform instant communications when stationary without having to set up all of their necessary communications equipment on each occasion. Unsurprisingly, given the significant ranges at which WIN-T is intended to operate, forms a key part of its architecture.
Increment-2 adds communications on-the-move from division to company levels using an ad-hoc self-forming and self-healing network. As noted above, General Dynamics is furnishing the US Army with the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio alongside Thales. The firm received an additional order for up to 13,000 additional sets in August 2012 worth $53.9 million. Like the AN/PRC-155 radios, the Rifleman is being delivered to US Army infantry brigade combat teams.
General Dynamics, alongside Harris (quod vide), is providing SRW Applique tactical radios to the US Army. In July 2013, the firm was awarded a contract for 287 unclassified SRW Applique radios, with Harris being awarded a similar contract for 119 Secret SRW Applique systems. Up to 5,000 of these could eventually be purchased by the US Army from a number of manufacturers. The SRW Applique radio can outfit a vehicle-mounted Sincgars-compatible radio to provide SRW-level connectivity for that latter system. This provides vehicle radios a means of communicating with dismounted troops using the SRW in their Rifleman radios, and is effectively a stop-gap measure pending the development and introduction of the MNVR (see above), which will have the SRW and WNW installed as standard.
As part of the JTRS restricting, the US Army has launched a competition for the Full Rate Production of the Rifleman radio with several companies offering proposed solutions. Harris is offering a solution based upon its RF-330T-ER Wideband Networking Team Radio to answer the requirement. The radio offers a 14-hour battery life and uses identical batteries and chargers to those used by the General Dynamics/Thales AN/PRC-154. The VHF/UHF (225-450Mhz, 1250-1390Mhz and 1755-1850Mhz) RF-330T-ER provides encryption up to the NSA 'Secret' level, and 20 hours' battery life. Simultaneous voice and high-speed data communications are possible with this radio, along with up-to-date position reporting. The radio can join or form an SRW network in less than 40 seconds, and it is instantly interoperable with all other SRW-compatible communications devices. The radio can also be upgraded to port future waveforms as and when they become available.
Away from its involvement with the Full Rate Production element of the Rifleman programme, Harris continues to deliver tactical radios to US customers and other clients around the world. In June 2013, the firm netted a contract worth $36 million to supply wideband AN/PRC-117G manpack and AN/PRC-152A handheld Falcon-III radios. These radios will equip the United States Special Operations Command.
The AN/PRC-117G covers the HF/VHF/UHF 30-2000Mhz waveband and includes US National Security Agency-Type 1 encryption and supports a wide range of legacy waveforms while also being JTRS-certified. These include the Sincgars, Havequick-II and the company's own Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW-2) which facilitates high bandwidth data transmission and is upgradeable to the SRW. In September 2012, Harris announced that JTRS certification had been received for this radio to operate version 1.01.1 of the SRW. This effectively certified it to carry the SRW and marked an important milestone in its development.
Regarding the AN/PRC-117G's performance, a single standard battery provides up to ten watts of transmit power in VHF and 20W in UHF. Similar waveforms are supported by the AN/PRC-152A along with the APCO P25 protocol which allows users to connect with civilian communications networks such as those utilized by first responders. Covering the VHF/UHF 30-512Mhz and 762-870Mhz frequency ranges, the radio has five watts of power operating in a line-of-sight mode, and ten watts of power when performing satcom. Alongside the Special Ops Command, Harris has over the past twelve months secured AN/PRC-117G orders from the United States Marine Corps worth $26 million, and from the United States Air Force in December 2012 for the delivery of transceivers worth $85 million as part of an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity supply contract which also saw an initial order worth [pounds sterling]33 million being made for the delivery of AN/PRC-117G sets. To date, Harris says that it has produced and shipped over 22,000 AN/PRC-117G sets which have been supplied to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States in addition to several other Nato nations.
Harris continues to win export customers for its tactical communications products, most noticeably netting an order worth $40 million in May 2013 to provide the Royal Brunei armed forces with new radios from its Falcon-III product line. Other export orders have followed to Poland which, in September 2012, placed a $10 million order for AN/PRC-117G radios along with AN/PRC-150 sets. The AN/PRC-150 is an HF radio which the company claims is the; 'most advanced Type-1 (communications security) radio available today.' Covering the HF/VHF 1.6-60Mhz range, the radio includes third-generation automatic link establishment and advanced frequency hopping which provides secure communications even in conditions where significant jamming is being performed. Although HF communications can sometimes suffer from low data rates, the AN/PRC-150 can shift up to 9,600 bits-per-second of information. Australia is acquiring the AN/PRC-150 radio as part of its Joint Project 2072 Battlespace Communications System for the Australian Army. This initiative is replacing legacy radios used by the force, while providing a backbone to run the Battlefield Management System and Battlefield Command Support System. The Battlefield Communications System will acquire narrowband and wideband radios to carry these latter Australian command and control systems.
In October 2012, Harris introduced its KnightLite backpack mobile cellular network system. This product forms part of the company's KnightHawk family. KnightLite is essentially a portable cellular hub providing voice, data and SMS communications across a secure network which is compatible with existing commercial off-the-shelf smartphones and tablet computers. When deployed KnightLite can provide 3G/4G networking and provides a gateway linking these devices to other military communications networks. This can be done via conventional high bandwidth tactical transceivers. Data rates of up to 14mbps are achievable with the high capacity 3G coverage provided by the KnightLite, although this can be increased to 20mbps via a 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) software upgrade. Harris introduced its Knighthawk tactical 3G cellular network node in April 2011.
Other new products from the Harris stable include the Falcon RF-330E. This new wideband soldier personal radio can handle voice and data traffic while also providing situational awareness to individual troops. The company has designed the radio to address requirements for the US Army FRP phase of the Rifleman programme, and for its NettWarrior initiative which aims to furnish troops with a low-cost, smartphone/tablet-style device which can operate with the Rifleman radio to run 4apps' which can be used by individual soldiers. The RF-330E is designed to run the SRW, and to provide up to 14 hours' operation on a single battery charge. The batteries themselves are the same as those used for Harris's AN/PRC-152A transceiver which will help to reduce the logistics burden of supporting these radios.
* CELLULAR 'PHONES
It is worth digressing here a little to talk about the Multi-Access Cellular Extension (Mace) programme which is being pursued in the United States with the intention of using the fledgling NettWarrior initiative and WIN-T as a conduit for cellular communications. In particular, the US Army is especially keen to leverage the improvements in communications offered by so-called 4G LTE (Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution) wireless communications which offer high speed data rates for cellphones and computers. One application for such technology is in the field of military telemedicine. The overall aim of this initiative is to provide soldiers with full cellular communications services in Spartan environments.
The problem with providing cellular communications in the field is essentially down to infrastructure challenges. Civilians are used to obtaining near universal cellphone coverage, particularly in urban environments, without giving the provision of such services a second thought. This is because of the myriad of lattice-like cellphone communications towers which carry traffic. When a cellphone call is made the signal is picked up by the nearest tower and rebroadcast until it reaches its destination. As always with military communications, armies are forced to not only take their communications system with them into the field, but also the accompanying infrastructure required to operate these, hence the development of ad hoc networking radios which form their own networks.
For cellular communications to be available to soldiers, the necessary infrastructure has to be present to enable them to work. The rationale behind the Mace programme is simple. It aims too 'plug the gaps' that naturally occur in theatre-wide communications where two separate tactical communications networks which may host cellular communications may be too far from one another, or separated by a geographical obstacle such as a mountain range to permit connectivity. The Mace programme commenced in 2012 and is currently undergoing development with a view to deploying the technologies that the programme will develop by circa 2016. The challenge of the initiative is ensuring that the technologies realized as a result of the Mace programme can interoperate with the US Army's existing and future communications networks. This effort will have to ensure that cellular communications can integrate with and use the networks such as NettWarrior and WIN-T which will carry this traffic to its destination.
Other new Harris products include the RF-7800H HF manpack which the company says provides up to ten times the bandwidth and data rates of similar HF manpack products. In addition to its increased power, the RF-7800H is 20 percent smaller and lighter than previous HF manpacks and operates on a single battery, while including software communications architecture which greatly eases the future upgrade of the radio. Finally, the firm has introduced the "Next Generation" Falcon III RF-7800W-OU-500 High Capacity Line-of-Sight (HCLOS) radio which uses Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology to provide in excess of 180mbps data throughput across ranges of up to 160km.
* ITT EXELIS
The last twelve months have been busy for United States-based communications specialists ITT Exelis. On 24th June 2013, the firm received a new level of certification from the US National Security Agency (NSA) for its Soldier Radio Rifleman and SideHat products. This NSA certification enables the radios to handle traffic classified at the agency's Secret and below level across the US Army's forward areas and tactical environments. SideHat is a transceiver, which can reside next to a Sincgars standard manpack in a vehicular configuration. This configuration increases the warfighter's capability and use of space and installation in a given platform.
The SideHat attaches to a Sincgars transceiver and enables soldiers to
exchange voice and data communications using the SRW, without having to procure completely new SRW transceivers. The SRW was developed by ITT Exelis. The rationale behind the SRW is to provide a high bandwidth networking waveform that could be used by small, low-power transceivers equipped with low-profile antennas, operating in contested territory i.e. being resistant to jamming and interception. The SideHat enables Sincgars-era radios to communicate with new radios running the SRW. To this end, it carries VHF/UHF communications at 225-450Mhz, and UHF traffic at between 12501390 and 1710-1850Mhz or in 1.2Mhz bandwidth channels. It transmission power is 23.4 Watts in UHF and 28W in L-band. The SideHat is available for vehicular operations.
ITT Exelis's Soldier Radio-Rifleman (SRR (S)) carries the SRW (see above) and is designed for intra-squad communications. Like the SideHat, the SR-R(S) handles UHF traffic across the same frequency spread and 1.2Mhz channel bandwidth. Capable of achieving over eight hours of operation on a single battery charge, the SR-R(S) has two watts of output power in both UHF and L-band. As regards bandwidth, the radio provides up to 1.2Mhz using the SRW All up, the SR-R weighs a shade under a kilogram, and is Software Communications Architecture (SCA) 2.2.2 compliant. SCA is a series of open architecture standards which stipulate hardware and software requirements for radio engineers providing Software Defined Radios (SDRs), and the accompanying products and accessories intended to operate with them.
A word or two should also be mentioned regarding ITT Exelis's RO handheld radio. Unless several fundamental laws of physics radically change in the near future; a prospect which seems somewhat unlikely, radio engineers face a fundamental reality: High Frequency transmissions can travel vast distances, as they bounce their signals off the ionosphere, but they cannot convey high levels of data. VHF and UHF transmissions on the other hand, can carry vast levels of data, but are restricted to line-of-site ranges. This is particularly challenging when a platoon of troops is moving through an area of high mountains, jungle or so-called 'urban canyons' with high-rise buildings; all of which can serve to block radio traffic with Obstacles. The RO radio offers an approach to squaring this circle as it uses the global Iridium satellite communications network to carry its transmissions between transceivers. This enables a soldier to send UHF and VHF levels of data across HF-style ranges, while at the same time, being able to communicate with ease with their comrades in the adjacent street, for example. ITT Exelis's RO radios form part of the Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS) operated by the Defence Systems Information Agency (DSIA). The DSIA owns a section of Iridium bandwidth which enables it to transmit traffic across this constellation. Basically, the DSTA architecture includes the RO radios, and a gateway connecting these radios to the DSIA-owned Iridium bandwidth. Since 2010, ITT Exelis has supplied around 8,000 radios to the United States' armed forces, most of which are equipping the United States Central Command for operations in Afghanistan, although the United States Marine Corps and Africom also use the radio. The company is currently enhancing these radios via a retrofit to extend their range to over 900km and is thinking about how these transceivers could connect with other Allied Sincgars- or SRW-standard radios through a gateway in the future.
Although ITT Exelis is very much involved in the development of new radio technology, its products continue to prove popular around the world. In March 2013, the firm won a contract worth $4.3 million to provide RT-1702 Sincgars transceivers in the VRC-92 Dual Long-Range Radio System and VRC-90 Long Range Radio System configurations. The identity of the customer has not been revealed, although the supply of the RT-1702 will afford that customer a VHF radio operating in the 30-88Mhz range which can be used in both a mounted and dismounted configuration primarily to handle data traffic, although the radio can also handle voice communications and Global Positioning System (GPS) transmissions, enabling it to provide Blue Force Tracking functions. In the dismounted configuration, the radio has an output of 5W and 10W but this increases to 50W when used in the vehicular configuration.
Export sales have also been forthcoming of ITT Exelis's SpearNet radio, with the firm securing a sales contract in late-February 2013. The UHF SpearNet is being provided in both vehicular and soldier-wearable forms. The SpearNet can handle data, voice and positional information via GPS over a range of circa eight kilometres. Its data transfer rate is in the region of 100-1,500 kilobits-per-second. One useful feature of the radio is that it includes a Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) function which allows it to connect with existing telephone networks. This feature is especially useful when the soldiers are working with their civilian counterparts such as local police forces or emergency service first responders. Similarly, SpearNet can be configured to act as an internet node allowing computers and sensors to be connected to the radio to send data across existing IP networks. Such functions can be performed very safely given that the radio includes Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 security. Used in its vehicular configuration which teams the soldier radio with a 20W power amplifier, the SpearNet has demonstrated its ability to achieve ranges of up to 16km. This can increase to 60km, if radio relays are present.
ITT Exelis is also supplying the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence with the enhanced version of its High Capacity Data Radio, dubbed the EnHCDR. This expands the functionality of the original sets which have been supplied to the Britain as part of the Bowman multiband tactical communications initiative. The 'vanilla' HCDR covers the VHF/UHF 225-450Mhz range and performs sell-healing, self-forming ad hoc networking. The radio can equip vehicles, ships, aircraft and fixed command posts. Data rate outputs of up to 5kbps are achievable with the HCDR, which is considered highly robust vis-a-vis electronic countermeasures. The HCDR's power output is adaptive up to 20W. Noticeable changes as regards the EnHCDR compared to the HCDR include an increased throughput of 8mbps, compared to the 5kbps of the legacy product. and the ability to operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -35[degrees]C up to +71[degrees]C. The EnHCDR features both Type-1 and Type-3 AES-256 hit encryption and 4Mhz wide spread spectrum frequency occupancy.
* METRIC SYSTEMS
Metric Systems' RaptorX VHF/UHF Network Radio provides a solution regarding the planning and establishment of reliable, deployed unit-to-unit secure broadband communications. Able to operate continuously over the VHF/UHF 170-800Mhz band, RaptorX enables the quick activation of point-to-point, point-to-multi-point, and multi-point-to multi-point networks in a range of harsh environments from arctic terrain to the hot and humid jungle. When teamed with secure enterprise wi-fi nodes the RaptorX provides garrison-to-garrison secure communications between hundreds of authorized users.
Deployable in a mobile or a transportable configuration using the company's Rhino Box environmentally-controlled site enclosure, the dual-channel Rhino/Raptor suite, provides a wide-area VHF/UHF hub linking civil and military users into a unified community element. Key operational features of the RaptorX include optional RF power output levels, tailored for extended range sub-band operation within the 170-800Mhz spectrum. Furthermore Safari View, RaptorX's integrated operations, administration and maintenance application, allows its embedded real-time hardware encryption engine to securely support multiple independent users. Finally, RaptorX's powerful mission scripting capability enables communication planners to quickly configure and adapt to changing mission requirements.
Along with South Africa, Europe and North America, Israel is a centre of excellence as regards tactical radio innovation. Rafael has unveiled its Bnet family of tactical communications which encompasses vehicular, airborne as well as handheld transceivers. These radios can handle up to ten megabits-per-second of data and carry voice-over-internet traffic. Promoted as an 'advanced IP Mobile Ad-Hoc Network SDR' by the company, all of the radios in the Bnet family can handle Nato waveforms. Rafael will commence delivery of the Bnet to the Israeli armed forces by late 2014.
Raytheon's Enhanced Position Locating Reporting System (EPLRS) vehicular radio which equips the US Army's General Dynamics Land Systems Stryker armoured fighting vehicles has been upgraded by the company to EXF-1950 status as part of an exercise to demonstrate the feasibility of providing tactical wireless internet connectivity through a vehicle-mounted radio. Over several months, Stryker vehicles equipped with the EXF-1950 operated by the force's 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team (4/2 SBCT) demonstrated that this was feasible thus enabling troops to receive and send email traffic from their Stryker vehicles using a secure wireless network. Along with email and data handling across a wireless network, this upgrade to the EPLRS allows troops to send and receive data. Prior to this upgrade it was only possible for Stryker vehicles to join an upper-tier tactical internet network when in the proximity of a fixed transmitting point at a Forward Operating Base, or a Combat Outpost, for example. The EXF-1915 enables a Stryker Brigade to join US Army middle-tier and upper-tier internet networks and thus benefit from high-speed internet protocol services across the entire brigade.
In other developments, Raytheon announced in November 2012 that it had successfully demonstrated the SRW in its Mobile Ad Hoc Interoperability Network Gateway radios, better known as 'Maingate'. The significance of the demonstration is that it illustrated the ability of these radios to carry voice and data traffic between a Maingate terminal and other radios using the SRW. Along with carrying the SRW, Maingate can use the Next Generation Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Waveform (NMW). Raytheon has developed the NMW and, in April 2012, this was accepted into the Department of Defense's waveform library developed as part of the JTRS programme. NMW is designed to provide wideband connectivity for small, low power consumption radios.
As mentioned in this article, waveforms are, for all intents and purposes, the 'secret sauce' of armed forces future tactical communications needs. They can be thought of as similar to the 'apps' found on civilian smartphones which enable the user to perform several functions with their phone once these apps are installed. Just as some smartphones now have an application for the Skype VOIP communications system, the radios which have been, and will be, developed following the demise of the JTRS programme will be able to perform a number of functions according to the waveforms that they have installed. For example, these waveforms may include the Havequick-II, a legacy Sincgars-era waveform which enables secure frequency-hopping ground-to-air communications across VHF/UHF 225-400Mhz. Similarly the Muos waveform discussed above facilitates satellite communications, while a waveform supporting civilian marine-band radio at 156Mhz is also included in the library. To better facilitate multinational operations, some Allied waveforms maybe included such as those compatible with the United Kingdom's Bowman HFVHF and UHF tactical communications system. Maingate is one of the candidate radios for the MNVR requirement. As well as running the NMW and SRW, Raytheon says that Maingate can also carry the Muos (see above).
Finally, the company showcased its new Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC) system at the 2013 Paris Air Show. Currently in its prototype stage, the JTAC includes a vest-worn communications system which is connected to an eyepiece worn by the air controller. When he sees a target of interest, he looks at it directly and presses a button to designate the target. This imagery is then transferred to a pilot in a combat aircraft overhead who immediately sees the same target. Such technology may go a long way in helping to avoid fratricide and collateral damage by ensuring that both pilot and JTAC see exactly the same target before ordnance is released.
The past twelve months has seen South Africa's Reutech Communications release a new product into the marketplace in the form of the Landsec Short Range Communications System comprising the PCR4001-E Personal Role Radio and the VCR4001-E Vehicle Repeater. Billed as a 'new generation Personal Role Networked Radio for short-rage intra-team communications' by its manufacturer, the PCR4001-E can perform hands-free voice communications, and host multiple users with a push-to-talk priority override and external access to two combat net radios.
A built-in GPS has been included for blue-force tracking, and the radio can perform simultaneous voice, data and imagery communications. With an operational range of around one kilometre, the PCR4001-E operates in the UHF band at between 410-510Mhz. One of the impressive features of the radio is its battery life, which provides to up to 18 hours of operation with hot-swappable batteries giving an uninterrupted flow of communications. For data, the PCR4001-E provides a user data rate of 64kbps.
In addition to the unveiling of the PCR4001-E, Reutech announced in October 2012 that it is gearing up for full-scale production of their new generation of tactical radios as part of their offering to the South African National Defence Force and other international customers. This overarching family of radios includes the firm's MCR3005-E V/UHF and MCR2005-E VHF manpack radios, its MCR1025-E HF manpack and the vehicle-mounted V/UHF VCR2050-E and VCR3O2O-E, plus the HF VCR 1 100-E. Some advance production units has already been delivered to selected users. The second stage of the rollout programme will see deliveries of the companys FCR5O5O-E V/UHF fixed transceiver, FCR1 100-E I-IF transceiver, PCR4001-E (see above), and the vehicle- mounted VCR4OO-E at a later date. All of the radios which Reutech is delivering include built-in GPS for blue force tracking and advanced encryption. All of these will also run the so-called South African 'Link-ZA' national tactical datalink which has been in development since the start of the 21st Century. Link-ZA allows the seamless transfer of voice and data communications between army, air and naval forces.
* ROCKWELL COLLINS
In May 2013, Rockwell Collins announced that it had performed two live tests of its Wideband HF radio, during which the transmission of streaming full-colour video was demonstrated alongside ad-hoc IP-based networking. Of particular interest was the ability to handle ten times' the data rates usually obtainable by existing HF systems, according to the company. Historically, HF radio has been invaluable at providing an over-the-horizon reach, but has done so at the expense of bandwidth, limiting the quantity of data that such communications can handle. Increasingly the bandwidth of HF radios plays an important part in reducing the dependence that armed forces have on satellite communications which can be expensive to lease and vulnerable to jamming.
During that same month Rockwell Collins' SubNet Relay (SNR) product was ratified as meeting Nato's Standardisation Agreement 4691 (STANAG 4691) which covers Marlin (Mobile Ad Hoc Relay Line-of-Sight IP Networking). The SNR has been designed to allow the use of a common frequency to establish a tactical internet between ground, air and sea vehicles. This can be a self-configuring and self-healing network using either legacy or new communications systems. In addition to producing the SNR, Rockwell Collins, along with General Dynamics, is involved in the production of the AN/PRC-155 two-channel manpack tactical radios for the US Army. In late November 2012, the firm received a contract to produce around half of the 3,700 sets which have been ordered by the US Army with General Dynamics producing the balance.
* ROHDE AND SCHWARZ
German tactical radio specialists Rohde and Schwarz used the opportunity of the International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi this year to unveil its new, next-generation software-define radio. The firms' family of radios and networking waveforms is designed for vehicular and semi-fixed installations providing up to 50W of output power, covering the 30-512 HF/VHF/UHF ranges. All of the radios in the range are SCA-compliant, which allows the waveforms developed by other manufacturers to be ported into the radio to improve interoperability.
The HDR (High Data Rate) waveforms developed by Rohde and Schwarz to accompany the SDTR family are optimized to provide the best range, data and security performance for the user depending on their requirements, and these can be directly selected on the transceiver. Above all, these waveforms enable mobile, IP-based tactical communications; a must on today's, and tomorrow's, battlefields. When on the move the HDR waveforms support Manet, enabling the automatic reconfiguration of vehicle-to-vehicle communications networks.
* SELEX ES
This Italian military communications specialist took advantage of the SITDEF Exhibition in Lima, Peru to showcase both its Soldier System Radios. Selex's SSR weighs around 600 grams complete with its battery. The UHF radio is available in both 400Mhz and 900Mhz versions with the former offering an operating frequency of between 350 and 450Mhz, and the latter 856 and 900Mhz. In rural terrain, the SSRs have a range in the order of one kilometre and host zoo channels. Up to 32 users can be hosted on a single SSR net. Selex ES took many of the lessons learned from the design of its Personal Role Radio (PRR), although the range of the SSR is sufficient to support extended squad operations.
Thales is forging ahead with the Contact programme for the French armed forces. Announced last year, Contact will equip the French army, navy and air force with new generation SDRs for different platforms; namely vehicles, helicopters, fighters and ships, as well as dismounted commanders. The programme provides connectivity to the soldier on the field as well as interoperability with allied and coalition forces and, compared with today's radios, it enables faster transmission speeds and higher grade security.
One important aspect of the Contact programme is that the radios that will be designed and procured will be compatible with the existing waveforms used by the Thales PR4G F@stNet family of radios used by the French armed forces. The PR4G F@stNet family includes the TRC-9105 and TRC-9110 Very High Frequency (VHF) handheld radios, TRC-9210 VHF manpack, TRC-9310 A/AP VHF vehicular set, TRC-9310B/C VHF vehicular dual-fit station, and Very/Ultra High Frequency (V/UHF) airborne radios.
The company is currently in the Contact project definition phase to be completed by 2014. Once the definition phase is complete, the firm expects to commence the development of a prototype transceiver. Following this proof of concept work will be performed in 2015 with elements of the overall Contact architecture being inserted into existing French communications networks thereafter.
A key element of the Contact architecture, as noted above, is interoperability. This will be achieved by the incorporation of the Essor (European Secure Software-defined Radio) ad hoc networking high data rate waveforms into the overall Contact waveform library which will also support the future Coalwnw (Coalition Wideband Networking Waveform). The Essor is a project run under the auspices of the European Defence Agency which intends to develop standards and protocols compliant with and complementing the Software Communications Architecture 2.2.2 standard, better known as SCA-2.2.2'. This is an open-architecture standard relating to hardware and software SDR design criteria. The aim is to enable future communications systems to interoperate with communications equipment developed as part of the JTRS programme. In addition, it will develop a High Data Rate Waveform (HDWF) which can be ported into the communications systems of the participating nations (Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden). The Coalwnw includes eleven nations notably, the United States and most of the six participating countries in the Essor initiative, and seeks to eventually develop a coalition wideband networking waveform which can be used by all of the participating countries to enhance interoperability. The tactical-level High Data Rate Waveform (HDRWF) being developed as part of the Essor undertaking is a candidate for the Coalwnw. The Contact programme will port the waveforms developed as a result of the Essor and Coalwnw initiatives.
Alongside its leading role in the Contact programme, Thales's American subsidiary has developed the MBITR2 (the next-generation Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio) which is currently undergoing tests with the United States armed forces. MBITR2 can perform simultaneous narrow and wideband operations using a single handheld transceiver. While it retains the waveforms of the legacy VHF/UHF AN/PRC-148 JEM (JTRS Enhanced MBITR), notably Sincgars and the Havequick-T/II UHF frequency-hopping protection protocol, it adds a second wideband channel which enables data and video reception and transmission. This also permits the user to access wideband tactical networks via the SRW. Meanwhile, an embedded GPS affords the radio a blue force tracking capability. Thales plan to produce a portable amplifier which will allow the MBITR2 to become a vehicular or manpack radio in the future.
Although Thales's PR4G radio family has been in service both in France and around the world for some time now, the firm is evolving the range. Its new TRC-9110 VHF hand-held radio is entering the production phase. The TRC-9110 is a small lightweight handheld radio offering the same features and same waveform that exist in the manpack and the vehicular stations. A new 50W light vehicle station (TRC 9310 L) based on this handheld and equipped with a booster is completing the current PR4G F@stnet family. All the new equipment includes Thales's new GeoMux VHF waveform which is dedicated to voice, data and position reporting, featuring one of the most advanced VHF waveforms on the market. In addition, a data transfer rate of 100kbps has been demonstrated which Thales expects to deliver to customers next year.
For the individual soldier, UHF traffic can be handled by Thales's St@rMille family which offers three standard waveforms covering intra-squad, intra-platoon and weapons-system communications. A high data rate waveform can be used by the St@rMille family to enable simultaneous voice, data and GPS transmissions. Available in three different hardware versions (handheld, vehicular and high power), ST@rMille offers high mobility in different operative scenarios (urban, suburban and rural), self-forming and self-managing networks without need for any infrastructure, automatic reporting of the GPS position, a high data rate capacity, including live video transmissions and secure communications via its embedded AES-based encryption algorithm.
As noted above, Thales has a presence in the United States most notably through the use of its AN/PRC-148 JEM radios by the US armed forces. The company is involved with the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio which it has jointly developed and manufactured with General Dynamics. Currently, the US Army has around 20,000 of these radios on order from the two companies which are being procured via a low rate initial production initiative.
Finally, some interesting work is being performed by Thales regarding HF communications. HF has the benefit of providing over-the-horizon ranges, thanks to the ability of its transmissions to use the ionosphere as a 'springboard' from which it can bounce off in a similar fashion to a pebble thrown across a lake. This enables HF to avoid the curvature of the Earth which acts as an obstacle, much as it does for conventional line-of-sight VHF and UHF communications.
Thales is currently working on wideband HF standards designed to increase the throughput of HF transmissions. These efforts focus on gathering non-contiguous HF channels together, which is akin to binding several fibres into one thick rope. Each HF channel tends to handle around nine-to-ten kilobits-per-second of data. As a means of comparison the author's current wi-fi connection handles 54 megabits-per-second; up to 5,400 times more data than a single HF channel. However, the trade-off is that is does this across a range measured in metres. HF carries notably much less data, but its attraction is that it can do this across thousands of miles. Can this data-rate/range circle be squared? Using the rope analogy, by grouping several HF channels together, you can increase the quantity of data which can be transmitted. This is done by scanning HF radios channels to find the channels that are not being used. Once these are identified, the channels are grouped together for the transmission of data. For example, up to ten channels could be connected together to provide up to 100kbps of bandwidth across an HF link. Such data rates are still eclipsed by those offered using VHF, UHF and satellite communications, but they could be very useful in providing an alternate very long distance narrowband communications link for written messages and voice, such as those transferred between ships deployed on the high seas in a task force.
* ULTRA ELECTRONICS
In May 2013, Ultra Electronics unveiled its new Orion high-capacity line-of-sight radio. The Orion can be used to connect higher echelon levels of command with tactical networks and can be employed as both a backhaul repeater and a range extension node. The set can provide access to three radio channels simultaneously across multiple frequency bands. The radio can handle up to one gigabit-per-second of data, and includes AES-256 level embedded cryptography. Orion supports a number of waveforms, including those utilized by the company's AN/GRC-245A(V) High Capacity Line of Sight radios. The AN/GRC-245A(V) is a triband radio which can handle up to 16mbps of full duplex traffic and can achieve such high data throughputs even at long range, although this can be optionally increased to rates of 34mbps. It covers the VHF/UHF 225-400Mhz, 1350-2690Mhz, and Super High Frequency (SHF) 4400-5000Mhz frequency ranges, with 125khz of channel spacing. Using the 225-400Mhz frequency range, the radio can handle 256kbps-16mbps at a distance greater than 50km, 256kbps-34mbps at ranges in excess of 55km when using 1350-2690Mhz part of the spectrum (this is dependent on an optional Enhanced Power Mode), and the same data throughout at ranges in excess of 40km when using the 4400-5000Mhz frequency band. Embedded AES-256 standard encryption is included along with the ability to support a range of SCA-certified waveforms. The AN/GRC-245A(V) is in service with the armed forces of Canada, Chile, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Ultra Electronics' other similar products include the High Capacity Multi-Mission Radio. This uses the SHF 4400-5000Mhz segment of the spectrum. It can transmit data at rates of between 34kbps up to 100mbps. When transmitting at 34kbps, the radio occupies 10Mhz. This increases to 15Mhz when transmitting 70kbps and 18Mhz when operating at 100mbps. The High Capacity Multi-Mission Radio is compatible with the AN/GRC-245A(V), and supports a number of waveforms.
Tactical radios are highly dependent on their accompanying accessories to ensure smooth operation. This includes dedicated amplifiers which can extend the range and power of existing products. In May 2013, Ultralife Corporation unveiled its new A7500 75W multiband, multimode tactical amplifier. The A-7500 supports a wide range of waveforms including SRW, Havequick and Sincgars, to name but three, and can operate in conjunction with the firm's A-320V2-A 20W amplifier. Supporting the SRW and a number of legacy waveforms, the A-320V2-A forms part of Ultralife's A-320 tactical amplifier range and it covers the HF to low UHF frequency ranges.
* AR MODULAR RF
New tactical amplifiers are also available from AR Modular RF. The firm is introducing its L-band AR55L amplifier which is specifically designed as a networking amplifier system and is compliant with SRW, and also with Harris's proprietary ANW-2 waveform. The AR55L is currently completing testing, and the firm is hoping to enter production in the near future. Both of these waveforms can also be carried by AR Modular RF's legacy AR50 amplifier. To date, the company says that it has shipped Thousands' of these latter products which will in their standard configuration carry not only legacy waveforms but also the new networking waveforms developed as a result of the JTRS initiative. All of AR Modular RF's tactical booster amplifier products are essentially 'transceiver agnostic' and are used with AN/PRC-117G, AN/PRC-152, and AN/PRC-148 MBITR radios. The firm says that going forward they expect their products to be used extensively with the AN/RPC-154 Rifleman Radio (see above) as that product enters service.
Although they may seem somewhat more humdrum than the all-singing, all-dancing multiband transceivers discussed above, tactical radios are little more than box full of electronics without antennas. Significant research and development is flowing into antenna technology with Pharad introducing a new L-band antenna in early July 2013. This L-band antenna is wearable and operates efficiently over the 1,350-1390Mhz range. It can be used for a number of applications including point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and push-to-talk communications.
The past twelve months has underscored that, while defence budgets are feeling the pinch, the global modernization of land forces tactical communications continues. Of course it is impossible to predict the extent to which various programmes will decrease, increase or change in scope and reach over the coming years. That said a consensus seems to be emerging that armies around the world need wideband long-range networking at all echelons, most noticeably in the hands of the individual solder. Satellite communications is increasingly forming a standard part of an army's tactical communications suite of systems and readers are advised to consult Armada's recently published articles exploring satcoms for more information, while high bandwidths are in high demand. Arguably, the world of land tactical communications is still someway behind its better-funded civilian cellular counterpart in terms of functionality and reach but it is catching up, and catching up fast!
Although extremely well known in the civilian word for a wide range of products, 3M is involved in the production of tactical radio accessories. In particular, the firm produces a handsome range of radio headsets. Often inadvertently neglected headset technology is one of the fastest moving areas of the tactical radio domain, with recent combat operations highlighting the need to ensure that soldiers can hear radio traffic clearly; have their ears protected and at the same time are aware of necessary ambient noise to ensure their situational awareness. 3M's radio headset product line includes the Comtac-series of next-generation headsets and a variety of push-to-talk and microphone accessories. The company says that new products are in the pipeline, which it expects to bring to market soon.
CNR-9000 Elbit Tadiran
30 to 108 MHz 3 kg
Power: 5 to 20 Watts
Waveforms: High data rate combat net radio
Encryption: Orthogonal frequency hopping and anti-jamming
Notes: 32 kbps data transfer, optional vocoder, GPS, streaming on-the-move video.
JTRS GMR Boeing
2.0 MHz to 2.0 GHz 0.76 kg
Power: In development
Waveforms: WNW, SAW, Sincgars, ERRS, UHF satcom, HF
Encryption: Crypto subsystem
Notes: One-4 channels, completed field experiments March 2011, customer tests expected 3rd qtr 2011.
30 to 512 MHz 0.95 kg
Power: 0.5 to 5 Watts
Waveforms: Hoye Quick I/II, Sincgars
Encryption: NSA Type 1, Type II DES
Notes: Supplied to the US Army in 2007. AN/PFIC-148V3/V4 Jem upgrade makes it compatible with JTRS frequency range.
1.6 10 30 MHz 5.2 kg
Power: 10 or 30 Watts *
Waveforms: USB, LSB, AM, CW, AFSK, Ale
Encryption: 5 or 25/sec freq hopping w/o master station, Secure Call voice encryptor
Notes: 500 programmable channels, GPS tracking, digital crypto handset interface, * 100 Watts in vehicle dock, 64-character SMS.
350 to 450 MHz 0.30 kg
Power: 0.25, 1 or 2 Watts
Waveforms: FSK or GMSK data/voice
Encryption: Selectable Citadel II Asic or AES
Notes: Full-duplex to six talkers, GPS position report, range to one kilometre in jungle, automatic whisper mode.
Spearnet ITT EXCELIS
1.2 to 1.4 GHz 0.7 kg
Power: 0.6 Watts
Waveforms: Mil-STD-188-110A/B and Stanag-4539. secure voice/data/video
Encryption: DSSS, AES 256-bit
Notes: Demonstrated out to a range of six km. AES key management, tactical Lan on-the-move. IPv4, six Mbps data burst.
EnHCDR ITT EXCELIS
225 to 450 MHz 14 kg
Power: adaptive up to 20 Watts
Waveforms: VHF/HF Centaur network data backbone
Encryption: AES 256-bit
Notes: Supply UK MoD's M-Dor in 2011 under $ 15 million contract. Now four Mbps data.
Microlight DH500 Raytheon
225 MHz to 2.0 GHz 0.76 kg
Power: 0.1 to 4 Watts
Waveforms: Eight-hop relay, CPSM with DSSS, IDMA, CDMA and FDMA
Encryption: AES for secure-but-unclassified transmission
Notes: Web browser, Vole data, video and position info.
1.6 to 60 MHz 4.7 kg
Power 1, 5, 20 Watts
Waveforms: HF SSB, AM SSB, CW, VHF, FM, Melp, LPC-10
Encryption: NSA-certified Type 1, N1elp yocoder, serial-tone ECCM, coalition Citadel
Notes: 75 programmable presets, Ale & datalink protocols, wideband FSK data to 16 kbps
30 to 88 MHz 4.2 kg
Power: 0.5 to 10 Watts *
Waveforms: VHF, voice, data, FM FF, simplex or half-duplex
Encryption: full/partial freq hopping, digital encryption
Notes: 12-chnl GPS, 16 Kbps data, * 0.5 to 75 W vehicle/fixed, selective calling, voice priority
RO Tactical Radio ITT EXCELIS
DTCS/Iridium satcom 0.5 kg
Power connects to PC
Waveforms: HF voice and data
Encryption: AES 256 voice/data
Notes: OTM over horizon secure voice, up to five unique networks (soon ten), <400 km range, pole-to-pole comms w/o need for geo sat link.
225 to 400 MHz 0.7 kg
Power: 0.1 to 1 Watts
Waveforms: Multi-hop IP-based voice & data
Encryption: Embedded AES 256-bit
Notes: Supports parallel voice networks, ad hoc IPA node (DHCP/routing), five voice nets.
225 to 450 MHz 8 kg
Power: up to 50 Watts
Waveforms: Enhanced position, IP Manet
Encryption: AES Encryption
Notes: Sales to Canada and Australia, up to 32 simultaneous independent data paths, auto route establishment, man-pack/vehicular/airborne.
118 to 400 MHz 0.76 kg
Power: 0.5 or 5 Watts
Waveforms: Analogue voice, CVSD, TDMA, CSMA
Encryption: Vocoder, frequency hopping, digital en-cryptor
Notes: Customisable encryption algorithms. GPS position reporting, 1 metre immersion/2 hours.
30 to 512 MHz 1.1 kg
Power 0.25 to 5 Watts (10 in Satcom mode)
Waveforms: Sincgars, VHF, UHF, AM, FM Have Quick, Satcom HPW, Dama, P25 option
Encryption: Sierra It programmable
Notes: Dagr, PLGR GPS interoperable, JTRS-ap-roved, SCA-compliant SDR
30 to 512 MHz 1.4 kg
Power 0.5, 1, 2.5, 4 Watts
Waveforms: VHF/FM, UHF/WBNR, UHF AM/FM, A-CNR
Encryption: Frequency hopping for digital voice and data
Notes: Multi-mode multi-mission SIN
30 to 88 MHz 3.5 kg
Power: 0.1, 5, 50 Watts
Waveforms: Sincgars, tactical Internet
Encryption: Transec, programmable Type 1, six frequency hopping presets
Notes: Secure or clear frequency hopping, 2320 channels, over-the-air remote fill. 500,000th Sincgars radio delivered to US Army April 2010.
325 to 470 MHz 0.37 kg
Power: 0.1 to 1 Watts
Waveforms: High data-rate UHF
Encryption: Embedded AES 256-bit
Notes: Also available in vehicular and intra-platoon versions, whisper mode, up to 1.5 km in open terrain; 500 metres urban
30 to 88/225 to 512 MHz
Power: 5 Watts UHF & VHF
Waveforms: PR4G F@stnet, CNR, iMux, Supermux, St@rmille, air-ground Nextwave
Encryption: In development
Notes: Simultaneous voice/data, dual-channel SDR, embedded GPS, 2D map facility.
Rohde & Schwarz
25 to 30 MHz n/a
Power 10 to 160 Watts (see notes)
Waveforms: Ale 2/3G, AM/FM, SSB, Stanag 4285 and 4246, Secos, Have Quick I/II
Encryption: Secom-H/-V/-P and digital voice vocoders
Notes: Integrated GPS and position reporting, 72 kbps data, wide variety of waveforms.
5 to 15 GHz 1.1 kg
Power: 2 Watts UHF, 5 L-band
Waveforms: Soldier Radio Waveform voice and data, UHF, L-band
Encryption: Programmable NSA Type II comsec/transec
Notes: Rifleman Radio, continuous location re-porting. Lrip began 7 July 2011
30 to 512 MHz 1.4 kg
Power: 1, 2, 5. 10 Watts
Waveforms: VHF/FM, UHF/WBNR, UHF AM/FM, A-CNR
Encryption: Frequency hopping for digital voice and data
Notes: Multi-mode multi-mission SDR, 50 W power amp available.
30 to 88 MHz 3.5 kg
Power: 0.1,5, 10, 50 Watts
Waveforms: Sincgars, secure voice, IP data
Encryption: Default orthogonal hopsets/six presets
Notes: International Sincgars radio. 12-channel GPS, voice/data retransmit, position reporting, waypoint management, four-km remote control
30 to 420 MHz 4 kg
Power: 0.15, 1 or 5 Watts
Waveforms: VHF/UHF/AM/FM, non-freg hopping Sincgars connectivity
Encryption: AM/FM clear and cipher text with external comsec
Notes: Frequency Enhancement version covers 30 to 90 MHz, range to 60 miles, debuted 1/2010.
1.6 to 30 MHz 2.9 kg
Waveforms: High Data Rate Waveform
Power: 5 or 25 Watts
Waveforms: Mil-STD-188-110A/B and Stanag-4539
Encryption: Widehand and band-limited frequency hopping arid voice encoding
Notes: Supplied to Afghan Border Police and Kyrgyz Republic recently completed training.
1.5 to 30 MHz 3.9 kg
Power: 20 Watts manpack/125 vehicular
Waveforms: Voice/data, CW
Encryption: Digital/analogue encryption
Notes: Selective calling, digital squelch, pro-prietary orthogonal and synchronous networks w/o master station, data up to 9.6 kbps, adaptive data algorithm, frequency hopping ECCM.
30 to 88 MHz 0.87 kg
Power: 2 Watts hand-held (see notes)
Waveforms: F@stnet, isochronous TDMA
Encryption: ECCM against narrow- and broadband jammers
Notes: Radio family uses Mux mode, continuous voice and data, 10 Watts manpack 50 vehicle.
30 to 88 MHz 0.7 kg
Power: 5 Watts (20 w/amp)
Waveforms: Mil-STD-188-110A/B and Stanag-4539
Encryption: Frequency hopping and voice
Notes: Up to 16 kbps data with adaptive algorithm, orthogonal network, full freq band.
30 to 512 MHz 1.2 kg
Power: 0.25 to 5 Watts
Waveforms: VHF, UHF, AM, FM (Type 1 AES)
Encryption: Type 1 Suite B AES, Type 3 AES, Des-OFB
Notes: First tactical to receive NSA certification for Type 1 Suite B.
30 to 88 MHz 0.73 kg
Power: variable Wattage (see notes)
Waveforms: Soldier Radio Waveform, JIBS Bowman (JBW), capable of hosting others
Encryption: Programmable crypto subsystem
Notes: VHF 30-88MHz 5 W, UHF 225-450 MHz 2W, L-band 1250- 1390/1710-1850 MHz 2 W. auto Gig connectivity
16 to 60 MHz 3.7 kg
Power: 10 to 25 Watts
Waveforms: CW (J2A), USB/LSB/FM voice, FSK, NPSK phase shift keying and NQAM
Encryption: Proprietary transec, comsec
Notes: Elos/blos/los, embedded RS; HF-to-HF/VHF-to-FIF rebroadcast, Gen-3 Ale.
1.5 to 30 MHz 3.9 kg
Power: 0.5, 2 or 5 Watts
Waveforms: Simplex over FM
Encryption: Optional voice scrambler
Notes: Splash proof, alphanumeric LCD, 2320 or 4640 channels (100 Hz to 3 MHz FM), Vox and Whisper modes
30 MHz to 2 GHz 5.4 kg
Power: 10 or 25 Watts (20 in Satcom mode)
Waveforms: Sincgars, Have Quick II, VHF, UHF, AM, HPW, Dame, ANW2, 181B Tacsat
Encryption: Sierra II NSA-certified Type I
Notes: IP-based wideband networking radio, transmits 5 Mbps over tactical Internet, 50,000th radio delivered to USMC April 2010,
1.6 to 30 MHz 5.1 kg
Power: 5, 20, 100 and 400 Watts
Waveforms: Simplex or half-duplex USB, LSB, CW, and Arne
Encryption: Embedded ECCM and Comse
Notes: 100 programmable channels, Fed-Std-1054 Ale, built-in test, 5 Watts continuous duty,
30 MHz to 2 GHz 3.6 kg
Power: 20 Watts
Waveforms: Narrowband VHF low, VHF high, UHF low. Wideband UHF, ANW2
Encryption: AES 256-bit
Notes: Fixed, manpack or vehicular, embedded 12-channel GPS, 2400 bps Melpe, ad hoc networking.
30 to 88 MHz 0.65 kg
Power: 0.1.1 * or 5 Watts
Waveforms: Nato squelch, clear or secure voice, Sincgars, tactical Internet
Encryption: Secure orthogonal frequency hopping, country-specific crypto
Notes: Embedded Ota position reporting, 12-channel GPS receiver, * International version.
30 to 512 MHz in development
Power: 50 Watts UHF & VHF
Waveforms: Waveform customisation, supports Floxnet and PR4G R@stnet waveforms
Encryption: Programmable Infosec, customer-specific encryption
Notes: SCA 2.2-compliant V/UHF narrow/wide-band, multimedia to six Mbps, first int'l SDR
Rohde & Schwarz
25 to 146 MHz n/a
Power: 5 Watts
Waveforms: VHF Secom-P digital EPM jam-resistant waveform
Encryption: frequency hopping and digital encryption
Notes: M3TR family. Optional GPS receiver, remote control unit, nine network presets.
2 MHz to 2.5 GHz 6.5 kg
Power: 20 Watts
Waveforms: Soldier Radio Waveform, Muos, Sincgars, ERRS, HF SSB w/Ale, Satcom
Encryption: Type 1 and 2 embedded comsec and transec
Notes: Two-channel JTRS HMS manpack, four channels by networking Imp began 7 July 2011.
30 to 512 MHz 5.2 kg
Power: 10 or 20 Watts
Waveforms: Sincgars, Satcom, Dama. Have Quick I/II, AM, FM, FSK, B/SB/DESB/SOQ PSK
Encryption: Wide variety of voice and data encryption capabilities, embedded comsec
Notes: NSA/JITC certified, Molpe vocoder, embedded tactical Internet/joint range extension protocols, embedded IP stack.
Rohde and Schwarz
Power 50 Watts *
Waveforms: High Data Rate Waveform
Encryption: Robust Rohde and Schwarz security and encryption.
Notes: SDTR family radios are optimized to provide range, data and security performance depending on user r equirements. Waveforms enable mobile, IP-based tactical communications
1.6 to 108 MHz 5.78 kg
Power: 1, 5 or 20 Watts
Waveforms: Mil-STD-188-110B, Clam, Stanag 4415, WB FSK, Melpe
Encryption: AES, voice & data 128. 192 or 256-bit key length
Notes: HF, VHF, Internal GPS, Immersion one metre for 30 minutes. 101 programmable presets.
2 MHz to 2 GHz 0.6 kg
Power: 50 Watts UHF & VHF, open in HF
Waveforms: Flexnet waveform. PR4G F@stnet, open to standard or national waveforms
Encryption: Embedded & customer-specific encryption
Notes: IP-compliant protocols. one to four simultaneous voice, data and video channels
1.5 to 512 MHz 5.9 kg
Power: 0.01, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 10, 20 Watts
Waveforms: HF, VHF, V/UHF, Have Quick II, CNR. PRN, SCRA, INA, Secom H/V, Ale 2/3G
Encryption: Frequency hopping and voice
Notes: Syllabic, tone. signal squelch. OPS mode. 72 kbps OFDM data rate, 20-hour autonomy.
1.5 to 512 MHz 5.9 kg
Power 0.01, 0.5, 1, 2. 3, 10.20 Watts
Waveforms: HF, VHF, V/UHF, Have Quick II, CNR, PRN, SCRA, IPDA, Secom H/V, Ale 2/3G
Encryption: Frequency hopping and voice
Notes: Syllabic, tone, signal squelch, GPS mode, 72 kbps OFDM data rate, 20-hour autonomy.
1.6265 to 1.6605 GHz 11 kg
Power: 20 Watts
Waveforms: OPSK and 16-0am forward, 4-ary OPSK return
Encryption: Type 1 Haipe v1.3.5, Firefly key generation
Notes: Secure high-speed IF data/voice over Bgan, (*transmit--1.225 to 1.559 GHz receive).
Soldier ISR Receiver
Ku/C/S/L-bands 0.9 kg
Power: 3.5 Watts
Waveforms: FM, FSK, BPSK, O-OPSK
Encryption: Triple DES, AES
Notes: IP-based secure, digital/analogue data/ video ISR receiver/SDR designed for modular soldier systems.
225 to 400 MHz 4.1 kg
Power: 0.1 to 5 Watts
Waveforms: IPv4 multi-hop data or voice & data
Encryption: Embedded AES 256-bit, multi-hop voice
Notes: Long-range C4ISR SUR comms, 2.5 Mbps data, provides DHCP outing.
Caption: The Rifleman Radio has entered low-rate initial production and is one of the surviving elements of the erstwhile Joint Tactical Radio System programme. The AN/PRC-154 radio is being produced both by General Dynamics and Thales. (US Army)
Caption: The US Army's Ground Mobile Radio element of the JTRS programme, which was being led by Boeing, has now been cancelled and reborn as the Multi-tier Networking Vehicular Radio programme, with several companies posed to offer solutions to meet this requirement (US Army)
Caption: The AN/VRC-89 is one of the US Army's SINCGARS radios. This vehicular 50W radio can provide both long-range and short-range communications. It can operate two nets simultaneously and has a dual radio configuration using a single-vehicle mount. (US DoD)
Caption: The Multi-tier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR) initiative succeeds the erstwhile Ground Mobile Radio element of the JTRS programme. Harris is one company which is contesting this requirement. Up to 2,000 radios could be acquired via the MNVR programme. (Harris)
Caption: Barrett Communications has been awarded certification by authorities in the United States for a range of its HF systems. This clears the way for their operation by American government and commercial customers. (Barrett Communications)
Caption: Launched amid much interest in 2012, Codan has begun to ship production Envoy radios. Billed by the company as the most advanced HF radio available, it uses an icon-based interface to ease its operation, much as can be found on civilian smartphone (Codan)
Caption: Afghan Army personnel receive instruction regarding the care and maintenance of Datron tactical radios. The firm's PRC-7700HH set was recently awarded certification from the US Joint Interoperability Test Command regarding Mil-Std-188-141B. (US DoD)
Caption: EID in Portugal is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. 1 The company's PRC-525 Combat Net Radio is a multiband system covering the HF, VHF and UHF bands. It can handle data at a rate of 72kbps. (EID)
Caption: Elbit System's CNR-9000HDR VHF transceivers are produced in several versions including man pack, airborne and vehicular versions. The radio has an output power of between 0.25W or ten watts and can handle voice, imagery and data communications. (Elbit Systems)
Caption: General Dynamics is one of the co-producers of the US Army's AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio which is being fielded throughout the force. Note the wrist-mounted device that the soldier has connected to their radio to enable ease of use. (General Dynamics)
Caption: One of Harris's best-selling radios is its AN/PRC-117G VHF/UHF radios. Recent orders have been forthcoming from the United States Marine Corps, and the US Air Force. In addition, examples of this radio have been sold around the world. (Harris)
Caption: Harris's RF-5800V Falcon-II handheld VHF radio covers the 30-108Mhz frequency range and supports IP networking and has an embedded GPS for position reporting. The radio has been designed to provide a performance rivaling that of a VHF manpack. (US DoD)
Caption: Harris' RF-5800V Falcon-11 VHF radio can be used with a number of accessories including the company's RT-3161 Dipole antenna. When the radio and antenna are teamed together, tests have shown that the combination is able to provide a performance surpassing that of a 10-watt manpack transceiver.
Caption: Harris's AN/PRC-150 HF radio is, according to the company, one of the most-advanced such systems in use today. It can provide data throughputs of up if to 9.6kbps and it is being acquired by Australia as part of an overarching modernization of the country's tactical communications. (US DoD)
Caption: Although with an outward appearance which seems to resemble a handheld radio, Harris's RF-7800T-HH can be used to downlink imagery from aerial reconnaissance assets allowing these pictures to be viewed on a laptop, or terminal, by troops. (Harris)
Caption: The US Army's Multi-Access Cellular Extension (Mace) programme aims to address gaps in theatre-wide communications coverage by providing a cellular-based communications network. Applications being mooted for the Mace programme include telemedicine. (US Army)
Caption: ITT Exelis's RT-1523 radio is one of many systems which can handle Sincgars standard waveforms used by the United States and its allies. The radio can be used in both a mounted and dismounted configuration, and covers the 33-88Mhz frequency range. (ITT Exelis)
Caption: The ITT Exelis RT-1947 can connect into a Sincgars network and provides a position reporting system to users whom may not possess Sincgars radios. This enables their position to be known to other friendly Sincgars users. (ITT Evelis)
Caption: ITT Exelis's SpearNet UHF radio can be procured both as a soldier-worn or a vehicle mounted product. The radio has a range of around eight kilometres and it includes VOIP capabilities to allow the user to link with other non-military communications networks. (ITT Exelis)
Caption: ITT Exelis's High Capacity Data Radio has been sold to several customers including the United Kingdom where it forms an integral part of the country's Bowman tactical communications system. In Britain, these radios are now undergoing an upgraded to enhance their data rates. (ITT Exelis)
Caption: Kongsberg supplies a range of tactical communications products. These include handheld and larger vehicle-mounted and fixed base station sets. In addition to mobile networks, the firm provides trunk brigade and battalion nets. (Kongsberg)
Caption: Raytheon's Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) system was showcased at this year's Paris Air Show This clever device uses a soldier-worn eyepiece and a communications system which enables the controllers to directly transmit the imagery that they are seeing to a pilot. (Raytheon)
Caption: Reutech Communications' PCR400 7-E Personal Role Networked Radio is designed for short-range intra-team communications. This UHF radio can provide up to 18 hours of operations and has a data rate of 64kbps. (Reutech)
Caption: Reutech Communications' Landsec Short Range Communications System includes both vehicle and handheld radios. The company is putting its Landsec radio family in full-rate production for a number of customers. (Reutech)
Caption: Reutech Communications' Landsec VCR radio family includes the VCR-2050-E and VCR-3020-E. All Landsec products include a GPS to provide blue force tracking and the ability to run the Link-ZA' datalink. (Reutech)
Caption: Rohde and Schwarz's MR3000P is a multiband, frequency-hopping radio which has a power output of five watts. The radio has embedded electronic-counter-counter measure systems and is interoperable with the firm's M3TR radio family. (Rohde and Schwarz)
Caption: One of Rohde and Schwarz's software defined tactical radios here ssen undergoing cold weather testing. The SDTR range represents one of the newest tactical radio families to enter the marketplace. It covers the 30-512Mhz range and supports IP networking and Monet. (Rohde and Schwarz)
Caption: Tholes's FlexNet One is a compact, vehicular wideband VHF/UHF software-defined radio. It can support the company's legacy PR4G and PR4G F@stnet waveforms, and handle up to six megabits-per-second of data. (Tholes)
Caption: Thales' PR4G F@stNet radio family includes a wide range of transceivers for man pack and vehicle use. This includes the TRC-9310 A/AP VHF vehicular radio. The PR4G family is used extensively by the French armed forces. (Thales)
Caption: Thales' TRC-3700 HF manpack radio forms part of the company's Skyfast long-range HF communications range. These radios can handle data ata rate of 9.6kbps and cover the 15-30Mhz frequency spread in 100 hertz steps. (Thales)
Caption: Thales' PR4G family also includes the TRC-9210 VHF man pack. Over the long term, the PR4G family will be replaced in the French armed forces by the Contact series of radios that are currently under development by Thales. (Thales)
Caption: Alongside Thales' TRC-931 0 A/AP VHF vehicular radio, the firm produces the TRC-931 OB/C dual fit vehicular VHF radio. All of the PR4G family radios support waveforms specifically developed by Thales and can port new waveforms developed by the company as and when available. (Thales)
Caption: Thales' Nextwave is an airborne software-defined radio which is designed to provide both voice and datalink communications between air platforms and between air platforms and forces on the ground. The radio operates in the 30-600Mhz frequency range. (Thales)
Caption: Ultraine's A-7500 75W multiband tactical amplifier can support a wide range of tactical waveforms, these include waveforms used by the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, better known as Sincgars. (Ultralife)
Caption: A recent evolution of Ultralife's A-320 family of manportable tactical radio amplifiers, the A-320V2-A supports a diverse number of legacy waveforms including Sincgars and Have quick, plus more recent additions such as the Soldier Radio Waveform and Harris's proprietary Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform (Ultralife).
Caption: Harris's AN/PRC-152 is in widespread use with the US Army. The radio covers the 30-512Mhz VHF/UHF range and supports Sincgars waveforms and also includes the APCO-P25 waveform to link outwards to civilian communications systems. (US Army)
Caption: Alongside the AR50, AR Modular RF has also developed the AR55L which is completing testing, and which should enter production in the near future. The AR55L will be able to support the SRW and Harris's proprietary ANW-2 waveform, among others. (AR Modular RF)
Caption: Thousands of AR50 amplifiers have been manufactured by AR Modular RE These support legacy waveforms, and also new waveforms developed as a consequence of the JTRS programme. The company emphasizes that these amplifiers are 'transceiver agnostic' (AR Modular RF)
Caption: Weighing a mere 145 grams, Invisio's V60 hearing protection system can be configured by the user to tailor it to the specifics of their mission. The company offers a number of headset options to the customer, and remote wireless control boxes. (Invisio)
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|Date:||Oct 1, 2013|
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