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Thread: Tactical Radio and all that..........

  1. #11

    Harris Awarded $400 Million Contract for Falcon III Tactical Radios


    The AN/PRC-152A handheld radio offers a broad set of capabilities.

    Five-year contract to provide Falcon III radios and support to U.S. SOCOM

    With all of the orders they have gotten in the last 2-3 years one would have to wonder how they are managing to deliver on time IF, in fact, they are............

    08:02 GMT, April 19, 2012 MELBOURNE, Fla. & ROCHESTER, N.Y. | Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company, has been awarded an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with a potential total value of $400 million to provide the U.S. Special Operations Command with next-generation communication capabilities.

    The new five-year IDIQ contract enables the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to acquire the Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-117G manpack and AN/PRC-152 handheld radio systems and field support services as needed to address requirements for next-generation tactical communications. The contract is part of the Capital Equipment Replacement Program and represents an interim step in the modernization of the SOCOM tactical radio inventory.

    “Harris Falcon radios will deliver transformational communication capabilities for SOCOM missions around the world,’’ said George Helm, president, Department of Defense business, Harris RF Communications. “Our Falcon III family provides enhanced situational awareness by providing a system solution that meets the need for integrated tactical communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The radios also deliver secure network connectivity to operators from anywhere in the world. Falcon III also is fully interoperable with other products developed under the Joint Tactical Radio System.”

    The AN/PRC-117G is the first NSA Type-1 certified wideband manpack radio system. The AN/PRC-117G enables dismounted and vehicular warfighters to communicate via voice, video and data in real time. The wideband capabilities of the radio support network-enabled missions such as collaborative chat, video, e-mail, biometric enrollments and more from the field. The radio provides the highest level of information assurance connectivity to tactical units via NSA-certified High Assurance Internet Protocol Equipment encryption. Harris has shipped more than 20,000 AN/PRC-117G radios to U.S. and allied forces such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, other NATO countries and Australia. The AN/PRC-117G is the first radio to receive NSA Type-1 certification to operate the Soldier Radio Waveform, developed by the JTRS Joint Program Executive Office.

    The AN/PRC-152A offers tactical users the broadest set of capabilities in any handheld radio. Wideband networking capabilities are initially provided by the Harris Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW2). The Soldier Radio Waveform will be added to the radio later this year. The AN/PRC-152A also hosts SINCGARS, VHF/UHF Line-of-Sight, HaveQuick, IW for tactical satellite communications and other combat net radio waveforms. This makes the AN/PRC-152A the only Type-1 certified wideband networking handheld radio that is also fully interoperable with deployed DoD radios.

    Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-152(C) multiband, multi-mode handheld tactical radios provide portable line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight voice and data communications. The AN/PRC-152(C) is the most widely deployed JTRS Software Communications Architecture-certified handheld radio, with more than 160,000 units shipped to U.S., NATO and other allied forces worldwide.

    (Photo: Harris Corporation)

  2. #12

    Via Soldier Systems blog........

    Ultralife A-320KT Amplifier

    April 23rd, 2012


    Published on Apr 14, 2012 by adstactical

    ADS and Ultralife bring you the Ultralife A-320KT 20-Watt total solution amplifier kit, designed specifically to meet the needs of the Warfighter and for man portable communications. At 24 ounces, the A-320 amplifier is the lightest and most compact on the market. A-320 Kit includes amplifier with quick-release mounting bracket, 90-512 MHz multi-band antenna, radio-to amp RF cable, antenna and angle adjustable antenna mount with RF cable. The amp and accessories weighs less than 3.1 pounds, single battery operation, true SINCGARS & HAVEQUICK Compatibility. Do you need longer communications range, are you required to make SATCOM calls on hand held radios?

    Contact ADS today for more information:
    (866) 845-3012 OR http://www.adsinc.com/catalog/brands/ultralife
    ADS and Ultralife bring you the Ultralife A-320KT 20-Watt total solution amplifier kit, designed specifically for man portable communication applications. It provides single battery operation (up to 15 hours on a 5590) as well as true DAMA, SINCGARS, and HAVEQUICK compatibility (no accidental stepping on adjacent nets). The A-320 amplifier weighs only 24 ounces and is the center piece of a kit that includes a quick-release mounting bracket, 90-512 MHz multi-band antenna, radio-to amp RF cable, antenna and angle adjustable antenna mount with RF cable. All told, the entire system weighs less than 3.1 pounds.

    One of the coolest things about this system is the unique MOLLE compatible carrier for the amplifier which allows you to attach it directly to your gear. It also allows the amplifier to swing open for adjustments.

    Ultralife A-320KT

    www.adsinc.com/catalog/brands/ultralife

  3. #13

    Harris receives USAF manpack order

    14 May 2012 - 14:35 by the Shephard News Team



    Harris Corporation has announced that it has been awarded a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) for the delivery of its Falcon III AN/PRC-117G multiband manpack radios. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, worth $75 million, has an initial delivery order of $8 million, and was announced 14 May, 2012.

    According to Harris, the air force is acquiring the AN/PRC-117G radios to provide next-generation wideband tactical communications to combat controllers and other ground personnel. The radios enable voice and data applications at the tactical edge, supporting network-enabled missions such as close-air support, precision fires, MEDEVAC and collaborative chat.

    Software-defined and upgradeable, the AN/PRC-117G supplies mobile ad-hoc networking, as well as voice and high-bandwidth data applications. These capabilities support network-enabled missions such as intelligence reporting and analysis, route planning, MEDEVAC, convoy tracking, and checkpoint biometrics. At about half the size of previous manpack radios, the AN/PRC-117G ‘delivers vast improvements in power, as well as size and weight’.

    According to Harris, the AN/PRC-117G is ‘the first JTRS Software Communications Architecture-certified and NSA Type-1 certified wideband manpack radio system’. With its ‘fully integrated and NSA-certified High Assurance Internet Protocol Equipment (HAIPE) networking encryption, the AN/PRC-117G provides the highest level of information assurance to tactical units.’

  4. #14

    U.S. Radio Politics Get Bloody

    JTRS Fight Highlights High Stakes for Industry


    May. 21, 2012 - 09:29AM

    By PAUL McLEARY



    A short-lived and largely under-the-radar dustup last week over a $500 million radio contract for the U.S. Army might not sound like much in the context of a $600 billion 2013 defense budget. But the scrap offers a glimpse into the future of austerity-era defense contracting, where new work will be even more hotly contested than ever before.

    On May 15, a bipartisan amendment was introduced to the House Armed Services Committee’s defense authorization markup by Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and co-sponsored by Trent Franks, R-Ariz., that would have barred the Army and Navy from procuring tactical radio systems “that depend on proprietary waveforms and have not been or are not procured through full and open competition.”

    The amendment did contain an out clause for the services, however. It stated that the secretary of defense “may waive the limitation under subsection (a) if the secretary submits to the congressional defense committees written certification that procurement of certain tactical radios is required to meet urgent operational needs.”

    Industry insiders said the language appeared to disqualify Harris’ Falcon III 117G radio, which runs the company’s proprietary Adaptive Wideband Networking Waveform, and is competing for more Army business with the system. Harris won a $66 million contract from the Army in October for its two-channel 117G radios to replace the canceled Ground Mobile Radios that were slated to be issued to up to eight brigade combat teams this fall.

    And by disqualifying Harris, the language in the amendment appeared to favor General Dynamics, Harris’ main competitor for Army radio work. Loebsack, who introduced the amendment, represents a district in Iowa that’s home to Rockwell Collins, which partners with General Dynamics on several of its radio programs. Likewise Franks’ district in Arizona is home to a General Dynamics facility.

    One source familiar with the issue said Loebsack included the amendment as a pre-emptive strike to another thought to be coming from Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., who is said to have been targeting the funding for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). The source said Loebsack was looking to protect the radio program.

    Once the amendment was inserted, Harris responded by sending urgent emails to the press claiming favoritism, followed by phone calls from General Dynamics shooting those charges down.

    By the afternoon of May 16 — just one day after the amendment was introduced — the amendment had been withdrawn.

    Joe Hand, spokesman for Loebsack, said the congressman saw industry efforts to “bias the contract competition, and the congressman feels it shouldn’t be biased, and then once we saw that the efforts to bias the competition ended, then we pulled it.”

    He said he was not aware of any other amendments concerning the JTRS program.

    Dennis Moran, a retired U.S. Army major general who is Harris’ vice president of government business, said that “it is Harris’ belief that Congress sees the need for full and open best-value competition in the ground tactical radio market. The draft language in the [2013 defense budget] continues to articulate that desire for competition, and we absolutely think that is the right way to go.”

    A General Dynamics spokeswoman wrote in an email that “the JTRS HMS program is in production and able to deliver now a two-channel Manpack radio capable of running all of the government-owned waveforms in the [Joint Program Executive Office] repository. It only makes fiscal sense that there should be a moratorium placed on proprietary and/or sole-source radio purchases.”

    At issue were two versions of the JTRS: the Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio and the HMS tactical radio. The radios are envisioned as a way to connect soldiers in the field to higher headquarters while on the move. Current battlefield communications systems only allow soldiers to connect to the network while stationary, and then only to their immediate superiors.

    Both radios are being evaluated by the Army as part of its Network Integration Evaluation at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

    While the initial contract isn’t huge, it is significant in that the radios will help form a communications backbone for the Army’s brigade combat teams. As such, it could lay the foundation for steady work into the future, as the service plans to purchase relatively small batches of new hardware every several years in order to stay abreast of developments in the commercial communications market.

    And more is expected this week, when the Defense Business Board meets to discuss the future of the JTRS program.

    Paul Mehney, a spokesman for the Army’s modernization initiative, emailed from White Sands to say that any promising technology that comes out of the NIE process will be acquired through full and open competition. “Only, in select cases, if an emerging technology fills an immediate [war-fighting need] then other acquisition methods may be employed to quickly procure the capability.”

    Concerning the scuttled amendment, Mehney added that the language supports the Army’s acquisition strategy of holding a “full and open competition, and essentially says that the government will continue to use primarily government-owned (purpose rights) waveforms (non-proprietary) that are contained in the DoD Information Repository.”

    The Army will continue to “encourage and work with industry and the Services to take and insert these government-owned waveforms into new developmental technology that industry can bring back to the government through the Agile Process.”

    While “it appears that Harris won the day,” one industry source said, this latest congressional-industrial spat is indicative of things to come as defense budgets tighten and contracts become fewer and further between, a defense expert said.

    “We’re going to be operating at a very high level historically of defense spending over the next few years, even if sequestration occurs,” said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information, which is now part of the Project on Government Oversight. “That said, the manufacturers are going to be squabbling all the more loudly over a stable or slightly declining amount of money, because it can’t feed a system that demands ever increasing amounts of money.”

    When putting the opening salvos in the current defense budget drawdown in its historical context, Wheeler said that “this one so far has been much milder than the ones in the past in terms of dollars, but the political system has evolved to a place where it’s much more selfish and strident, and it’s very unpredictable how the political system will react to less money this time around.”

  5. #15

    Via Soldier Systems blog........

    BHI Limited Visibility & Concealable Antenna

    June 1st, 2012



    Blackheart International’s Limited Visibility & Concealable Antenna (LVCA) is a tactical antenna that is smaller, lighter and less obtrusive than conventional external combat radio antennas. And now, it’s offered in kit form, which adds a PALS-compliant, water-resistant pouch that holds the antenna and allows it to be secured conveniently and unobtrusively to the operator’s gear.

    The LVCA’s patch-panel antenna configuration works in the 30-512 MHz frequency range. Additionally, it is self-tuning and requires no operator intervention and transmits via circular polarization to eliminate “dead zones” or the need for any directional alignments. This means you can mount it virtually anywhere from a placing it in a pocket to Velcroing it into place on equipment. It can even be used for clandestine emplacements.



    Blackheart does a great job here of explaining the technology behind the LVCA’s patch panel antenna design: “The LVCA is comprised of an array of monopole antenna elements coupled in a dual-offset array that allows the antenna to receive and transmit on multiple frequency ranges. The cumulative effect of the individual antenna elements coupled together enable transceiver operations on multiple frequency ranges that monopole or dipole antennas cannot operate on because they are tuned to a single frequency range. Furthermore, traditional antennas are typically metal tubing or wire, whereas the LVCA is embedded in a Printed Circuit Board in a pattern that is impossible to create in free-standing metal or wire.”

    The LVCA is 3.5″ x 2″ and comes with a 18-inch length RG58A/U cable. It is offered in Black (standard) or in Tan as an optional color. The cable delivers 10 Watts peak, 5 Watts continuous with no amp from the radio to antenna. TNC connectors fit Thales, Harris and SINCGARS units; SMA connectors fit Motorola units.

    Granted, it won’t match the performance of a tuned antenna built specifically for a radio, but it’s very agile and can be used with a variety of radios. That specialty antenna becomes useless when you drastically change freqs or try to use with a new radio.

    Throughout my military career, I spent quite a bit of time in the commo business and I am a big fan of this antenna. Low profile, broadband, and self-tuning. What’s not to love? Plus, it’s a low cost solution. In fact, the price is low enough that an individual could afford one.

    www.bhicommo.com/bhi-lvca

  6. #16

    Via Soldier Systems blog...........

    243K Mini SATCOM Antenna from BHI

    June 7th, 2012



    The BHI Mini-SATCOM Antenna Kit is a very versatile mini UHF SATCOM antenna system. It’s compact, lightweight, offered with several deployment options like the pistol grip mode shown below. Essentially, you fold the elements which are shock corded to the antenna and store the antenna. When needed, it can be pulled out and intuitively pointed toward the bird to make the shot. It’s been done for years with other antennas including umbrella styles (showing my age here), but no one put a pistol grip on them to make it easier. The grip is a hollow design and stores an adjustment wrench.



    Weighing only 1.1 pounds, the dual quad radials collapse and fold alongside the collapsible boom to fit into a water-resistant MOLLE-compliant carrying pouch. The antenna is treated to a dull black anodized finish to reduce glare and protect the metal against weatherization. The kit includes the 243 antenna, tripod, pistol grip, magnetic mount and ground spike, MOLLE-compliant carrying case and a waterproof mini hard case to secure all components.

    Key Features – Benefits

    • Ultra light weight
    • Compact for individual troop carry
    • Rapid deployment
    • Four deployment options
    • Easy-carry MOLLE-compliant pouch
    • Dull, black anodized finish

    BHI has also incorporated a couple of other features. For example, there’s a one-step elevation adjustment via friction joint (no locking knob or lever required). Additionally, they’ve addressed common issues that arrive during operations in the field. The connector is slightly recessed to protect from damaging drops or unintentional misuse. The extension mechanism is designed to prevent possible jamming due to sand or dust contamination and the interface mount mechanism keyed to prevent improper connection. Finally, additional mounting options include a stainless steel spike providing sturdy, durable staking in all soil conditions and a rare earth magnetic mount.

    www.bhicommo.com/bhi-mini-satcom

  7. #17

    Eurosatory 2012: Harris showcases new systems

    13 June 2012 - 7:41 by Beth Stevenson in Paris



    Harris has introduced a number of new systems during the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris, France.

    Systems include a high frequency tactical radio, the Falcon III RF-7800H wideband manpack, the Falcon III RF-7800M-HH, the Falcon III RF-7800W-OU500, and it showed the RF-RT-3590 ruggedised tablet to an international market for the first time.

    The HH variant uses the Harris adaptive networking wideband waveform (ANW2), which Matt Nearpass, director of international product management at the company said is 'the most fielded, most proven wideband network available'.

    It also provides a 'familiar form-factor to other radios', and the HH radio will be production ready in July.

    The W variant is a next generation version of the radio and offers four times the improvement in data rate in comparison to the original system.

    'We've added an additional point to multi-point capacity,' Nearpass added, and said that 'with these systems it's all about ease of deployment'. The systems will be production ready by September/October of 2012.

    The development of the ruggedised tablet is a first for Harris, and it saw a 'customer and market need for a mil-spec android tablet', Nearpass explained.

    'There is a need for more data to be pushed to the field and pulling the data, and we saw the need and jumped in with both feet. What was available in the market we felt wasn't meeting their needs.

    'We see the need for the convergence of both civil and military networks.'

    Nearpass said that Harris has participated in all of the US Army's Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) testing so far, and described Harris networks as 'the backbone' of the testing.

    'Wideband HF is opening up a new chapter in communications,' Nearpass continued. 'Harris has responsibility to answer those problems that militaries have by providing a smaller, lighter system.'

    He continued that operations need 'various different levels of back up', and 'in the field you have to be able to provide your own infrastructure.'

  8. #18

    New Radios Respond to Emerging Security/Military Cooperation

    Posted by Paul McLeary | June 14th, 2012 | gear, IT


    Army photo

    Harris Corp has unveiled two new tactical radios and a battlefield tablet to the international marketplace, in a bid to take advantage of two emerging trends: networking soldiers from the tactical edge up to command headquarters; and the increasing overlap between military and police work in combating organized crime and terrorism.

    On the radio front, the company has rolled out its high frequency tactical radio, the Falcon III RF-7800H wideband manpack, which can transmit voice, video and data beyond line of sight; the Falcon III RF-7800M, which gives the user the ability to access video, text chat, and other forms of situational awareness using the Harris ANW waveform. Brendan O’Connell, president, international business, Harris RF Communications said that the company “wants to bring wideband to the market internationally [by] bringing the network to our customers, and giving them the capability to enable applications from higher echelons and brigade level all the way down to dismounted soldier.”

    Company officials also said that the new “H” radio can move data ten times faster than other manpacks, and is 20 percent smaller and lighter than previous versions.

    Dana Mehnert, the company’s president of RF Communications added that since these radios are IP devices, “you can pretty quickly put together country-wide networks, which we’ve done in several different countries” to connect soldiers at the tactical level with higher headquarters.

    The RF-3590 tablet, which the company introduced at the AUSA trade show in Florida earlier this year, is now being marketed internationally. The Android device has already seen some limited operational evaluations by the U.S. Army at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico earlier this month, and is scheduled to play a larger role in the next set of brigade-sized evaluations in the fall, known as the Network Integration Evaluation, which is the Army’s premiere modernization program. The tablet weighs 2 lbs. and has a 7-inch-wide screen, designed to be viewable in all types of weather and with night-vision goggles, and is designed to interoperate with any tactical radio, and plug in to the broader network.

    O’Connell said that since Harris’ radios and tablet are interoperable with one another as well as with other systems, if a customer is wants to tie together communication links between a federal police organization and a military unit, it can do so using software in the radios that allows those linkages. “We think we’re in a pretty good position because we do have a public safety business that sells land mobile radios” with this software, O’Conell said, “We’re starting to see requirements for that kind of capability pop up from a lot of customers, so we’re trying to bridge those two worlds.”

  9. #19

    French MoD Selects Thales for €263 Million CONTACT Programme


    CONTACT radios to be interoperable with the current PR4G waveform

    Thales is to supply French armed forces with next-generation air, naval tactical radios

    07:43 GMT, June 22, 2012 Neuilly | The French defence procurement agency (DGA) officially notified Thales of the award of the development contract for the CONTACT programme on 21 June. This strategic programme is designed to equip the majority of the French forces’ platforms with next-generation tactical radios incorporating innovative software-defined radio technology.

    “We are very proud to have been selected to design and build a complete theatre communications system comprising future air and naval tactical radios and associated waveforms, which will give French forces the joint communications capabilities they need to accomplish their missions effectively,” said Luc Vigneron, Chairman & CEO of Thales. “The CONTACT programme is strategically important for the French armed forces and key to France’s national sovereignty, and it also provides a solid framework for the future development of software-defined radio at the international level.”

    Network-centric operations hinge on the ability to move ever-increasing volumes of information between all the players in the battlespace. Communication systems are therefore central to this trend and have a key role to play in the critical decision chain, especially in complex environments and multinational coalition operations.

    To accommodate this growing complexity, six European nations—Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden—launched the ESSOR project (European Secure Software defined Radio) in 2009. ESSOR aims to establish a baseline standard for development and production of military software-defined radios in Europe. An ESSOR reference architecture has been defined and shared between the European partners, compatible with the U.S. SCA standard, and a coalition high-data-rate (HDR) waveform has been developed to provide the basis for a new standard.

    The CONTACT programme will therefore draw on a foundation of communication architecture standards and on the European waveform developed by the ESSOR partners to guarantee interoperability. Software radios and waveforms developed within this framework will meet new requirements with high operational value as armed forces transition to the digitised battlespace and increase their reliance on C4I, video transmissions and other value-added services during multinational operations.

    Future CONTACT radio products will be fielded with the French Army, Air Force and Navy, providing faster transmission speeds, better security and heightened interoperability. They will be interoperable with the communication systems of other nations to support coalition operations.

    These products will be interoperable with the PR4G waveform, thus assuring upward interoperability with PR4G radio equipment currently in service.

    This contract award is a further endorsement of Thales’s defence communications technology and will sustain the company’s world-class expertise in the field of tactical communications. With CONTACT, Thales has consolidated its worldwide leadership in defence communications and now has an opportunity to repeat the export success of its PR4G system (more than 150,000 radios in service in 40 countries).

    Development work will be carried out mainly in the Paris region and at Cholet, and all the manufacturing will be conducted at Cholet and Brive.

    (Photo: Thales, Bernard Rousseau)

  10. #20

    Via Soldier Systems blog............

    BHI Introduces Self-Steering SATCOM Antenna

    June 29th, 2012

    The new Trivec AV2094-3 provides true on-the-move communications for long-range or over-the-horizon missions. Securely contained under a rugged radome, the self-steering vehicular UHF SATCOM system features a automatic pointing capability that greatly improves the signal-to-noise ratio when compared to omni-directional antennas. Rigorous testing confirms that communication integrity is maintained on-the-move even while using low-angle satellites.



    AV2094-3 system features include:

    • 5 dBiC gain @ beam max.
    • Control unit stores up to 30 satellite profiles and is extremely easy to use
    • Control unit stores last-satellite-used information for immediate on-the-go quick-start operations
    • Minimum user interaction. Self-steering antenna auto-adjusts to speed and direction of vehicle
    • Rugged enclosure—antenna unit is protected by radome

    www.BHIcommo.com

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