By Adam Baddeley, Deputy Editor, BATTLESPACE
Harris unveil new Falcon III Manpack
Harris chose AUSA for the venue to launch the latest member of the Falcon III family, the RF300M-MP. The 30MHz-2GHz, Sierra II protected and GRAAM SAASM equipped radio, uses much the same waveforms as the earlier and now highly successful AN/PRC-152 namely SINCGARS, Havequick II, VHF/UHF AM and FM, the proprietary HPW also used in the AN/PRC-117, DAMA satcom and future wideband waveforms across the 225MHz-2GHz UHF frequency band including Harris’ own waveform.
By reaching up to 2GHz allowing it to operate in the vital 1650-1850MHz band available to the military, this will enable the radio to operate commercial L-Band satcom as well as future growth waveforms.
Critically, the radio will also operate the company’s ANW2 (Advanced Networking Wideband Waveform ) which operates at 225-450MHz. The family of OFDM waveforms in the ANW2 offers ad hoc networking supporting between 25-50 nodes initially with its Signals in Space operating between 500KHz to 10MHz, offering 22Kbps to 15Mbps throughput. In demonstrations at AUSA in October 2005, Harris used the ANW2 to operate between four radios offering video streams 90Kbps throughput and 2.7Mbps PSK On-Air Rate and audio streams with an 1.35Mbps OGMSK On-Air rate. Start-up at the demonstration showed a 28 second time to complete boot-up and waveform load, with a further 2-5 seconds for the waveform to synchronise and the ad-hoc network to form.
The use of the ANW2 will also prepare the radio to operate the official DoD Wideband Networking Waveform and Soldier Radio Waveform, whose development are being lead by Boeing and ITT respectively.
Harris characterise the ANW2 as being somewhere between the SRW and WNW. Thus using the RF300M-MP’s single channel and the smart networking the same waveform can be used to link disadvantaged and vehicle mounted users using the same waveform, eliminating the need for a two channel solution to crossband users operating WNW/SRW networks or similar.
The Falcon III manpack was submitted for Type 1 approval in April. Harris would not disclose the sponsor for the process.
Production of several hundred radios will begin early in 2007. Two US orders for the RF300M-MP have already been received. Harris anticipates that once certification is achieve the availability will quickly be made available to Five Eyes – the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with NATO availability and SECAN approval a further aspiration.
A non-Type 1 export version of the RF300M-MP is expected to be launched at IDEX in February. This will operate the ANW2 and be offered as a wideband high capacity data radio and be available 3-6 months after that announcement.
Further work is being undertaken on the RF-300U Secure Personal Radio (SPR) for the US market. Which will see the frequency band extended from 380-450MHz to 225-450MHz, SCA 2.2 compliance and installing the ANW2 to provide that it can support the SRW when that waveform becomes available.
In addition Harris is exploring Situational Awareness options for the RF300 family.
On display at AUSA was a proof of concept solution, the Single Board Radio, based on the form factor of their traditional hand held radios with the RF innards of the SPR but with a colour-LCD screen running Northrop Grumman’s C2 CE software. The goal is to then take this capability doe to the standard SPR form factors with the leader radio potentially having a larger externally wired/wired connected screen.
The first radio in the Falcon III the AN/PRC-152 is progressing well with deliveries due to reach 17,000 by the Summer 2007. Production of the radio is currently running at over 1000 per month.
To support requirements for AN/PRC-152 users Harris are developing an SCA 2.2 compliant version of the APCO 25 waveform with Australian firm Etherstack, which should be due by the summer of 2007. Further work will also see the DAMA-