28 Feb 03. Thales Communications Inc. told BATTLESPACE during AUSA that the JTRS LSI Boeing was considering the possibility of introducing an extra Cluster to the JTRS requirement, Cluster X. Cluster X has been identified as a requirement for small sized communications devices for remote vehicle and ground sensor operations. The U.S. Army is slated to run this requirement which is for 15000 radios weighing 1lb or less.
Thales said that it was hopeful that its MBITR handheld radio which is the lightest of the contenders, weighing in at 2lbs would be selected for the Cluster 2 requirement run by the US SOCOM. The requirement is for 60000 radios and Thales already has systems in service with SOCOM.
Another development is that GD Decision Systems is taking the current infosec encryption module and reducing it to hand-held size radios. This would be the first programmable chip in a hand-held radio.