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By Adam Baddeley, Deputy Editor, BATTLESPACE

26 Sep 06. African Aerospace 2006 was the venue chosen to release the RF-300U personal radio developed by Harris RF Communications Division.

Two versions of the 350-450 UHF radios were on display – the standard Personal Radio and the Squad Leader transceiver, both in a noticeably slim configuration with each radio having 15 programmable channels and a range of 2Km.

Two encryption options are being offered – AES or the company’s own proprietary Citadel 256 bit solution, giving the radio an international flavour and selectable on a net by net basis to allow maximum flexibility. For instance, the radios may be loaded with both “national” nets and “coalition” nets using different encryption algorithms, allowing the soldier to communicate easily on either.

Other features include internal GPS and wireless PTT or Vox, with the Squad Leader version running an extra Windows CE application processor. The two versions are about 90 percent identical. The key difference is the addition of a screw-in MODule giving leaders a built-in PDA type and further function interfaces to CNRs, satcom and computer displays.

In the leader configuration, the dual PTT allows the user to communicate on both the squad network and the reachback network using a single headset. Harris has developed an interoperability feature on the RF300U to seamlessly link with the Falcon II family for that reachback capability.

The radio has a configurable channel bandwidth. In the 25 KHz MODe, the radio interoperates securely over the air with existing Falcon radios. This allows the radio to be used to reach back to existing infrastructure based on standard 25 KHz channels. The radio also supports two wideband MODes using a proprietary multipath-resistant waveform designed to provide maximum range in urban areas. The wideband MODes support integrated voice conferencing, situational awareness and high-speed data.

The radio is also designed to work in conjunction with existing long-range radios such as the Falcon II series to bridge the squad network to higher echelons.

The radio’s interfaces have been designed to integrate with next generation soldier systems; both with wired devices using USB and wirelessly using the built-in wireless control port.

Industry sources at the event suggested that the RF-300U, perhaps in combination with the VHF/UHF AN/PRC-152 SDR, would be offered to meet the UK’s FIST communication requirements.

Harris is promising that further features would be forthcoming as the radio completes development and feedback is received from potential users.

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