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11 Aug 14. Pentagon shaping offset initiative to counter waning technological advantage.
* US defence officials are working on a new technology offset initiative to develop next-generation systems
* Autonomous systems could become a key element of the new effort
Pentagon officials are worried the technological superiority the United States has enjoyed since the first Gulf War is rapidly eroding, and are turning to a 20th century development framework to try to give US troops an edge in the future. That strategy, described as a technology offset, is being shaped at a time when the Department of Defense (DoD) is unlikely to have the financial flexibility it has enjoyed for more than a decade, and when defence companies are becoming more hesitant to spend their own money on research and development (R&D). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Aug 14. General Dynamics C4 Systems successfully demonstrated that the AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios closed a 2,000-mile communications gap between Phoenix, Ariz., and a second set of users in Taunton, Mass. The successful 2,000-mile transmission of the PRC-155 Manpack radio channels bridged the Line of Sight Rifleman Radio and Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) radio communications to orbiting Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites.
“With the success of this demonstration, General Dynamics successfully demonstrated the promise of the MUOS satellite communications system using PRC-155 Manpack radios. The demonstration also successfully showed how dismounted Soldiers, separated by thousands of miles, can use the PRC-154A Rifleman handheld radios and connect through PRC-155 Manpack radios at the platoon level and below. The Soldiers can talk to another and share data with the ease of civilians who enjoy using their cell phones to call friends and family anywhere in the world,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 System. The General Dynamics-funded demonstration followed this path:
* Radio operators equipped with PRC-154A Rifleman radios in Taunton, Mass. formed a local network, or talk group, using the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). A two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio, which was located nearby, was a member of this talk group.
* The PRC-155 Manpack radio seamlessly bridged the SRW communications on one channel to the MUOS frequency needed to connect with the on-orbit MUOS satellites, using the second PRC-155 Manpack radio channel.
* The voice and data communications hopped from the Manpack radio on the ground in Taunton, Mass. to satellite and back to the ground in Phoenix, Ariz. connecting to a second PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radio.
* The second PRC-155 Manpack radio then seamlessly bridged the MUOS communications on one channel to the SINCGARS frequency needed to connect with the second dismounted talk group of users communicating using SINGCARS radios, creating a real-time satellite communications “radio check” voice conversation that was loud and clear among the radio operators in both Taunton and Phoenix.
In December 2013, the PRC-155 Manpack was the first radio to successfully complete secure voice and data calls from Alaska and the Arctic Circle using the MUOS waveform to connect with the MUOS satellite and ground communications network. The U.S. Navy’s MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve ground-to-satellite-to-ground communications for all U.S. military and government personnel located anywhere on Earth. Using a ten-digit phone number similar in function to those used by civilians with smartphones, the MUOS satellite communications network will provide a 16-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite system.
08 Aug 14. Raytheon: FAB-T Qualification