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Harris Shows Capabilities At AUSA By Julian Nettlefold

 

In the first BATTLESPACE interview since the Exelis business was acquired and subsumed into Harris Corporation, BATTLESPACE editor Julian Nettlefold met up with Chris Abeli, Vice President, DoD Tactical Communications and Tim White of Harris at AUSA.

Harris acquires Exelis

It is worth looking at the acquisition of Exelis by Harris in 2015 to understand how the rationalisation process of the integration of the two companies has progressed.

On February 6, 2015 Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) and Exelis, Inc. (NYSE:XLS)  announced a definitive agreement under which Harris acquired Exelis in a cash and stock transaction valued at $23.75 per share, or an approximately $4.75 billion enterprise value. The agreement was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The transaction was expected to close in June 2015 and was subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and Exelis shareholder approval.

Harris identified estimated net pre-tax cost synergies from the combination in a range of $100 million to $120 million, with savings expected to achieve annual run-rate in year three. Savings were expected from consolidating headquarters and eliminating public company costs and from operational and functional efficiencies.

Harris developed a detailed execution plan to ensure seamless integration to achieve identified cost synergies. The dedicated integration team had executive leadership and was comprised of senior members of both organizations. Harris was confident in its ability to effectively combine these two companies and provide the organizational alignment to achieve full strategic value.

One of the first exercises was the closure of the Exelis radio factory in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the home of the SINCGARS Radio. Harris announced the closure, along with a number of redundancies and moved the production to its Rochester, New York, USA facility, the new centre for tactical radio production and support for products from Harris. A number of employees relocated to Rochester from Fort Wayne.

Harris SINCGARS RT-1523 VHF Radio

SINCGARS, a voice and limited data radio, is currently the backbone of the US armed forces. More than 500,000 radios have been produced for the US and other armed forces and 350,000 of these are still in service and are gradually being phased out and replaced with the Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-158 Multi-channel Manpack under the US DoD HMS IDIQ contract where Harris and Rockwell Collins will supply 69,000 radios in a contract valued at $12.7bn. Radios will be delivered for testing in Jan/Feb 2018 for a test commencing in Autumn 2018.

The Harris RT-1523 is a ruggedized system equipping warfighters with time-tested, secure voice and data communications for superior Command and Control (C2). Local units can effectively manage multiple operations using flexible frequency selections and security options available on the front panel. This SINCGARS VHF radio is engineered to meet versatile mission needs—as a manpack to soldiers at dismount, and on-the-move with the Vehicular Amplifier Adapter (VAA). As a manpack, it allows a C2 application to access the Tactical Internet.

VHF Combat Net Radio with Radio Based Combat Identification

The RT-1523 enhances warfighter safety and awareness with a Radio Based Combat Identification (RBCI) capability, which can perform in an interrogator or responder role on the ground or in the air. When combined with the available embedded SAASM GPS receiver option, it provides secure voice, data and position location reporting in a single system.

Key Benefits:

* World’s most-fielded radio technology

* Versatile use for troops on-the-move or at-the-halt

* Configuration options for enhanced Situational Awareness and Position Location Information

Harris SINCGARS AN/ARC-201D Domestic Airborne Radio

Although SINCGARS RT-153 production has ended Harris is completing a contract for 1300 AN/ARC-201D airborne SINCGARS radios for the AH-64 Apache helicopter, delivering the radios over 2-3 years.

The Harris AN/ARC-201 delivers the reliability of SINCGARS field-proven voice and data communication systems, combined with battle-ready networking capabilities, all in a lightweight form factor.

Reliable Tactical Communications with Secure Anti-Jam Voice and Data

The SINCGARS Airborne Radio’s integration of COMSEC and the Data Rate Adapter (DRA) combines three Line Replaceable Units (LRU) into one—reducing overall aircraft radio weight. This Type 1 airborne solution prevents jamming and interception through noisy channel avoidance and enhanced frequency hopping, and supports future battlefield requirements with improved error correction, Enhanced Data Modes (EDMs), more flexible remote control and Global Positioning System (GPS) compatibility.

Key Benefits:

* Features SINCGARS, the world’s most fielded radio technology

* Reduced weight for deployment versatility

* Compatible with legacy SINCGARS data modes

* Supports future digital battlespace requirements

Bowman and Morpheus in the UK

“The HMS and Rifleman radio contract are going well, what progress do you see in the UK and the replacement of your 50,000 Bowman radios?” The Editor asked Chris Abeli. “You would need to speak to our people in the UK to get a definitive answer on Morpheus, but what I can tell you is that the UK MoD has initiated a programme whereby there will be an interim hardware and software upgrade solution to the existing radios with a new radio being procured in 2021.”

Harris Falcon III® RF-335M-STC Multi-channel Handheld Radio

Harris is bidding a variant of the Harris Falcon III® RF-335M-STC Multi-channel Handheld Radio against Thales for the US Rifleman Radio Requirement for 100,000 units. Two types are being bid, the Single Channel radio with the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) and the Twin Channel Rifleman Radio. General Dynamics dropped out of both the Rifleman radio and HMS requirements last year.

The Harris RF-335M-STC delivers dual-channel crossbanding capabilities in a single, SWaP-optimized handheld. Equipped with industry-leading Trellisware® TSM-X™ Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking (MANET) technology, the radio supports truly seamless and simultaneous networking for over 200 users.

High-speed MANET with SATCOM support

Warfighters get mission-critical information at a glance with the RF-335M-STC’s double-height LCD screen. Situational Awareness (SA) is advanced through the ISR mission module’s full-motion video capabilities. The handheld is software-defined, supporting simple updates to future waveforms. Type 1 communications are also secured through the Harris Denali™ multi-channel security architecture.

Key Benefits:

* Simultaneous multi-channel communications

* Seamless networking with industry-leading TSM-X technology

* Advanced SA with ISR video mission module

* Familiar Falcon® user interface simplifies navigation

Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-152A

Another handheld product is the Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-152A. The Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-152A provides simultaneous voice, video and high-speed data in a highly portable form factor. Employing the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) and Harris Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW2®C), this handheld delivers ad-hoc, self-healing and adaptive networking capabilities to dismounted soldiers on the move.

Tactical Handheld with SATCOM and Narrowband Interoperability

This Wideband Networking Radio features a complete set of narrowband line-of-sight and UHF SATCOM capabilities for interoperability with wideband, legacy and public safety systems. It has an SCA compliant architecture that accommodates changing mission needs and emerging waveforms with simple software upgrades. Plus, it provides NSA certified voice and data security up to Top Secret with its Harris Sierra™ II encryption module.

Key Benefits:

* Software-upgradable with SCA v2.2.2 compliance (no waivers)

* Real-time ISR and SA on demand linking dismounted and upper-echelon networks

* NSA certified up to Top Secret

Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-117G(V)1(C) Multiband Networking Manpack Radio

The Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-117G(V)1(C) radio is the backbone for Harris US and international sales with more than 30,000 radios fielded to US, NATO and other countries.

On October 10th the U.S. Department of Navy awarded Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) a five-year, $765 million ceiling, single-award IDIQ contract to provide tactical radios and ancillary devices to the Navy and Marine Corps. This new contract, which replaces a $300m IDIQ contract that expired in August, enables the U.S. Department of Navy to procure radios including the Harris AN/PRC-117G, AN/PRC-152A and the new AN/PRC-160 wideband HF/VHF radio, as well as peripheral attachments to support handheld, manpack, vehicular and base station mission needs. Additionally, the contract’s flexibility allows Harris to potentially provide next-generation products as required.

The software-defined Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-117G(V)1(C) provides breakthrough wideband data performance and legacy narrowband interoperability in one lightweight package. Covering the 30 MHz to 2 GHz frequency range, this single-channel radio is 30% smaller and 35% lighter than currently fielded multiband manpack radios and operates off a single standard battery.

MUOS-ready with Narrowband SATCOM Networking

The Harris Multiband Networking Manpack Radio is fully JTRS compliant, with a Software Communications Architecture (SCA) that allows for interoperability with legacy and future waveforms through software-only upgrades. The AN/PRC-117G(V)1 includes MUOS-ready hardware and has SATCOM and legacy narrowband compatibility. When combined with the Harris RF-7800B series of Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) terminals, the manpack provides wideband SATCOM communications, automatic and secure range extension, connection to out-of-range networks, and access to the Internet and remote private networks.

Key Benefits:

* Multi-mission capable with wideband networking, SATCOM and legacy narrowband interoperability

* MUOS-ready hardware

* Harris Sierra™ II software programmable encryption

* NSA certified up to Top Secret

* Internal GRAM-SAASM GPS receiver

Other manpack products

Harris has other manpack products including the Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-158 Multi-channel Manpack and the Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-160(V) Wideband HF/VHF Manpack Radio.

Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-158

The Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-158 Multi-channel Manpack. Designed for forward-deployed teams, the Harris Multi-channel Manpack delivers superior communications security along with mission flexibility. Compact, powerful and modular, this two-channel solution covers the full 30-2500MHz frequency range and is 30% smaller that similar products.

Type 1 Encrypted Narrowband and Wideband Networking

NSA-certified for voice and data up to Top Secret, the AN/PRC-158 meets all JTRS COMSEC and TRANSEC requirements. Each of the manpack’s two channels can transmit and receive voice and data simultaneously, and it comes fully-equipped with integrated MUOS hardware. Expansion slot available to provide future integration of mission modules for ISR reception, MANET and SIGINT.

Key Benefits:

* Integrated MUOS capable hardware

* Software Communications Architecture hosts a variety of narrowband and wideband waveforms

* Embedded routing and crossbanding

* Optional mission modules for advanced capabilities

* Ability to crossband voice and data

Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-160(V) Wideband HF/VHF Manpack Radio

The AN/PRC-160(V) (formerly RF-300H) is the market’s only standalone solution for Beyond-Line-Of-Sight communications in the absence of satellite. This wideband system is also the world’s first and only HF manpack meeting new NSA crypto-modernization standards. Its software-defined architecture allows encryption updates, so mission-critical information stays secure–today and into the future.

Crypto Modernization: Industry-Leading Type 1 Encryption With Breakthrough HF Data Speeds and ISR Capabilities

Harris leveraged 50 years of engineering expertise to deliver new generation HF capabilities in the AN/PRC-160(V). The manpack’s data speeds are up to 10 times greater than any existing HF radio, giving warfighters the power to share higher-speed communications and more sophisticated ISR through long-haul connectivity.

The HF/VHF Tactical Radio System features software-programmable Harris Sierra™ II encryption, providing secure Type 1 interoperability among U.S., Coalition and Partnership for Peace forces. The manpack is fully compatible with Harris Falcon II® HF gear, supporting immediate installation using existing Harris vehicular and base station equipment. This wideband system is also is the smallest, lightest, fastest wideband HF manpack available, SWaP-optimized to increase battery performance while reducing warfighter battle load and fatigue.

Key Benefits:

* Reliable, standalone HF long-haul connectivity

* Meets new NSA crypto-modernization standards for secure Type 1 TOP SECRET and Below voice and data

* Wideband data rates up 120 kbps, 10 times greater than existing HF radios

* Secure interoperability with over 100,000 Harris Falcon® radios currently in field

* Compatible with Harris AN/PRC-150(C) power amplifiers, antenna couplers, vehicular mounts and accessories

* Smallest, lightest, fastest HF manpack available

Harris Launches New RF-300H Wideband Manpack Radio System

“HF is seeing a big resurgence of the battlefield. The new Harris RF-300H manpack radio provides more security and enhanced wideband HF than any other radio in the marketplace. The RF-300H delivers an advanced solution for warfighters facing today’s complex environment. Given the heavy usage of satcom and fighting in difficult terrains and satcom denied environments and the jamming and spoof threats, alongside the need to turn off VHF in IED clearing operations, we have seen a resurgence in HF communications. HF backbone networks are now used not only to back up existing satcom networks but also as stand-alone systems in certain theatres. Harris HF manpack radios are flexible and reliable solutions for forward-deployed forces in remote areas. Capable of communications over distances of 3,000 km or more, they require minimal infrastructure and are rapidly deployed. They are also interoperable with existing VHF radio systems. Thus we have seen a resurgence in interest for our HF products and the Harris Falcon III®  RF-300H or AN/PRC-160in particular.” Chris Abelli said.

Highlights:

* Allows warfighters to use wideband HF to transmit data files beyond-line-of-sight

* Offers 10-fold increase in data rates and reduced size and weight over current manpacks

* Compatible with the more than 100,000 Falcon II HF radio units already deployed worldwide

In February 2017 Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) introduced the Falcon III® RF-300H, the world’s smallest, lightest and fastest wideband manpack radio. The RF-300H dramatically improves HF tactical communications by transmitting high-level security images, maps and other large data files from beyond-line-of-sight environments in a compact, lightweight package.

The RF-300H manpack from Harris, the leading provider of HF tactical communications, replaces the US Type 1 AN/PRC-150(C) – delivering data up to 10 times faster in a package that is 20 percent smaller and lighter. The RF-300H is fully backwards compatible with the Harris Falcon II HF product line, with more than 100,000 radio units deployed worldwide. It provides a reliable alternative to satellite communications for beyond line-of-sight voice and data communications and also features either a commercial GPS or a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM).

The AN/PRC-160(V) (formerly RF-300H) is the market’s only standalone solution for Beyond-Line-Of-Sight communications in the absence of satellite. This wideband system is also the world’s first and only HF manpack meeting new NSA crypto-modernization standards. Its software-defined architecture allows encryption updates, so mission-critical information stays secure–today and into the future.

Crypto Modernization: Industry-Leading Type 1 Encryption With Breakthrough HF Data Speeds and ISR Capabilities

Harris leveraged 50 years of engineering expertise to deliver new generation HF capabilities in the AN/PRC-160(V). The manpack’s data speeds are up to 10 times greater than any existing HF radio, giving warfighters the power to share higher-speed communications and more sophisticated ISR through long-haul connectivity.

The HF/VHF Tactical Radio System features software-programmable Harris Sierra™ II encryption, providing secure Type 1 interoperability among U.S., Coalition and Partnership for Peace forces. The manpack is fully compatible with Harris Falcon II® HF gear, supporting immediate installation using existing Harris vehicular and base station equipment. This wideband system is also is the smallest, lightest, fastest wideband HF manpack available, SWaP-optimized to increase battery performance while reducing warfighter battle load and fatigue.

Key Benefits:

* Reliable, standalone HF long-haul connectivity

* Meets new NSA crypto-modernization standards for secure Type 1 TOP SECRET and Below voice and data

* Wideband data rates up 120 kbps, 10 times greater than existing HF radios

* Secure interoperability with over 100,000 Harris Falcon® radios currently in field

* Compatible with Harris AN/PRC-150(C) power amplifiers, antenna couplers, vehicular mounts and accessories

* Smallest, lightest, fastest HF manpack available

Integrated Communications, ISS And Night Vision Systems

The acquisition of Exelis has enabled Harris to offer its customers a more comprehensive range of communications systems which include night vision goggles and sighting systems.

The Harris Individual Soldier System was demonstrated at the Owning the Night event at Shrivenham in 2017.

“Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) plays a prominent role with the ever-changing nature of warfare in today’s military operations.  Equally critical is the mission-specific situational awareness (SA) information that supports effective Command and Control (C2), improves tactical execution, and increases soldier safety and likelihood of mission success. The Harris Individual Soldier System (ISS) delivers tactical SA to the warfighter in a heads-up display, for both day and night operations, allowing them to keep eyes on their mission. This is done through the TM-NVG in direct view and Fusion capable configurations for night operations, and through a daytime display to enable 24 hour operation.” Eric Garris of Harris told BATTLESPACE.

The system provides access to photos for identifying targets of interest in the field and UAV camera feeds to see beyond/over geographic and man-made barriers, all while utilizing a secure radio network.  The soldier is able to record and store video from their point-of-view for active and future analysis.  C2 and deployed forces can simultaneously view the same full motion video feed as well as share or relay video/imagery for current location, geographical targets, rendezvous points, etc.

In combination with advanced capabilities of the ISS, enhancement of the current inventory of night vision devices must continue to be a priority to maintain a tactical advantage over the enemy.  Harris proposes image tube replacements within older HMNVS to achieve this advantage.

Harris’ Integrated Soldier System (ISS) provides the following core technologies required for operational capability and needed by the dismounted soldier to effectively operate.  A data enabled radio provides the backbone of communications between solider and C2.

* Harris 152A Radio – provides secure voice and data transmission

* Conformal Battery – ballistic-safe conformal-wearable battery for system power

* Harris picoHUB – data and power management/distribution

* End-user device (EUD) for the system interface

* Connect – bi-directional processor to support import / export of information to the day/night heads-up displays

* TM-NVG/ Daytime display – image intensified only or I2 with IR fused overlay (TM-NVG Fusion) night vision goggle with integrated light-secure overlay display and integrated “digital” camera Heads-up Display – provides interchangeable daytime display capability to provide 24-hour operational capability

* Augmented Reality (AR) Module – provides 3D situational overlay information to the soldier’s heads-up display for both day and night operations

Continuing the development of new products, at AUSA Harris introduced a Third Generation Night Vision Weapon Sight developed in association with Knight’s Armament.

The new F7030 clip-on night vision weapon sight is one of the most sensitive and advanced night vison scopes available for military use today. Developed with long-time partner Knight’s Armament Company (KAC), the F7030 builds on technology used in the widely-fielded KAC AN/PVS-30 night vision sight and includes the latest advancement in night vision image intensification. It can be mounted on standard assault and long-range rifles with day scopes. The KAC-patented technology and extended focus ensures the accuracy of the day scope boresight. The refractive lens provides high-performance light collection in a lightweight design, and is optimized for use with green or white phosphor image intensifiers. The sight also features the patented Single Interchangeable Battery (SIB)® that exceeds 24 hours of continuous operation. The highly-efficient power circuit can even run on used batteries providing several additional hours of operation.

 “This partnership brings together more than 100 collective years of experience between Harris in image intensification/night vision and KAC in weapon sights, allowing us to provide a solution that no one else can,” said Erik Fox, president, Harris night vision business.

Harris Robotic Systems

Harris Robotic Systems Hits The Headlines with UK Order For T7™ Multi-Mission Robotic System.

A previously unreported area of Harris activities has been its robotics business segment. Harris has conducted advanced R&D and developed robotic solutions for ground and maritime environments for more than 20 years. Harris robotic systems are designed with the user in mind and support ISR, EOD, and HAZMAT missions in the harshest conditions.

The newly developed T7 robot provides best-in-class mobility, manipulation, and intuitive control, delivering uncompromised performance, as a specially developed ruggedized robot for Military, Police, and Hazardous Missions.

Based on the inputs of hundreds of users, Harris has developed the T7 robot from the ground up to support the demanding requirements of commercial and military missions, including hazardous materials (HAZMAT) cleanup, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and special weapons and tactics (SWAT) missions.

Modern Robotic User Interface Providing Unmatched Command and Control

T7’s highly intuitive interface redefines ease of use with immersive force feedback, providing unmatched command and control. Its precision control and human-like dexterity shorten task completion time and improve mission effectiveness.

Cutting Edge Robot Technology Constructed from Field-proven Subsystems

The Editor was shown the T7 robot system at AUSA. The T7 has the strength and dexterity to tackle any challenge developed by use of advanced robotic techniques used for surgical applications.  Its rugged, automotive-grade track system provides outstanding mobility and maneuverability. A variety of attachments enable use of standard-issue sensors, disruptors, and tools, supporting a wide range of commercial and military missions, including HAZMAT and vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) defeat. In the configuration shown, T7 includes a pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) camera mast, high power multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) radios. UK disruptor specialist Hall and Watts supplied the disruptors used by the UK MoD.

Harris announced during DSEI last month that the UK MoD awarded Harris a contract worth up to £55m ($70m) to provide T7™ robotic systems– with a highly intuitive control interface and haptic feedback – to support U.K. explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions around the world.

The systems will be part of the MOD’s Project STARTER and help defeat a wide variety of explosive threats, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and unexploded ordnances. The T7 supports the demanding requirements of commercial and military missions, including hazardous materials (HAZMAT) cleanup, EOD, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and special weapons and tactics missions.

The robot provides operators with human-like dexterity and haptic force feedback from the robot arm to the remote-control handgrip. The T7’s interface provides ease of use for operators and unmatched command and control. Its precision control and dexterity shorten task completion time and improve mission effectiveness, and its rugged track system provides the outstanding mobility and maneuverability required for rough terrain. A variety of attachments enable use of standard-issue sensors, disruptors and tools that support a wide range of missions, including HAZMAT and the ability to disable and defeat IEDs planted inside vehicles.

“This award will bring life-saving technology to U.K. forces in the field and reaffirms the importance of highly reliable, precise and easy-to-use robotic systems for EOD operators,” said Ed Zoiss, president, Harris Electronic Systems. “During Project STARTER’s assessment trials in 2016, T7 successfully demonstrated to the U.K. MOD the maneuverability, reliability, and capability required for the toughest EOD missions. This award also represents the first of several more international contract awards we’re anticipating for the T7.”

The development of turnkey tactical communications systems is a large and growing part of Harris business with a large contract announced earlier this month.

On October 2nd Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) received a $260 million order to develop an integrated tactical communications network as part of an Asia-Pacific country’s modernization program. The order was received in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

The integrated network solution will include tactical radios, network planning, monitoring and routing software, and other systems and technology from Harris and partnering companies. The solution will feature Harris’ Falcon III®AN/PRC-158 multi-channel manpack radios and vehicular amplifiers and provide voice and data services to tactical forces for line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight applications.

“Harris is the incumbent tactical radio provider to the country, and this order is an important step in integrating Harris’ advanced products into their tactical communications network,” said Brendan O’Connell, president, Tactical Communications, Harris Communication Systems. “Our integrated solution will play a pivotal role in the customer’s continued modernization efforts.”

Conclusion

What a difference a few years make! In 2005 both Harris and ITT were left out in the cold with the JTRS announcements favouring Boeing, Rockwell Collins, Thales and General Dynamics. For Harris, with an associated downturn in its TV studio business since sold and the 2008 stock market crash and financial meltdown, CEO Howard Lance made the controversial decision to put the company up for sale! ITT, which was itself in the middle of reconstructing its segments declined to bid and then found itself the acquired business in 2015!

With Exelis now fully absorbed Harris is now a truly international systems company able to offer turnkey military communications systems to customers across the globe.

 

 

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