SOFTWARE RADIO – DEVELOPING THE TECHNOLOGY
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE
Part two of the BATTLESPACE feature on Software Defined radios.
In our May issue we covered developments in the JTRS Program, in this feature, we discuss new developments in legacy systems and developments of new radio capabilities outside JTRS.
Whilst JTRS continues to mature, there are continuing exciting developments in software radios taking place outside the JTRS Requirement.
Although being part of the unsuccessful Boeing-led AMF JTRS team, Harris has widely deployed products and capabilities in key areas of JTRS and software defined radio systems.
BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold met Dana Mehnert, president of Harris RF Communications, at this year’s Eurosatory Exhibition in Paris and was given a briefing by Kevin Kane, Director of U.S. business development of Harris RF Systems
“A key development for Harris was the award in January of this year for the certification from the National Security Agency (NSA) for our Falcon® III multiband, multimission manpack radio. of network-centric warfare. “Certification was a critical requirement for fielding the Falcon III AN/PRC-117G(C), which is the first Type-1 secure tactical radio with wideband networking waveforms. Type-1 certification ensures that our customers will have the highest levels of information security for their emerging network-centric communications. The programmable Sierra™ II encryption technology used in the Falcon III manpack provides this level of security for wideband networking waveforms as well as narrowband legacy waveforms and will host new security algorithms as they are developed,” Kevin Kane, Director of U.S. business development of Harris RF Systems told BATTLESPACE.
“Has Harris been affected by the loss of a major position on JTRS?”
“Far from it. We have seen a surge in orders for our products across the board at home and overseas. In addition we have received orders for JTRS-compliant radios developed by Harris using our own PV funds to upgrade existing systems. In April we were awarded a $96.7 million contract to continue upgrading U.S. Marine Corps tactical radio communications with multiband, multimission JTRS-approved Falcon III® handheld and vehicular radio systems through the Consolidated Interim Single Channel Handheld Radio (CISCHR) Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity contract awarded to Harris by the Joint Program Executive Office for JTRS.”
“Demand for our Falcon radios, in particular, remains robust and is driven by a broad range of customers within the U.S. Department of Defense as well as throughout our international markets. Our opportunity pipeline continues to be very robust and reflects our ability to meet the advanced communications requirements of our customers. We have further increased our production capacity to address the higher expected demand in the second half of fiscal 2008 and beyond. Outside Falcon, our RF-7800W High-Capacity Line-of-Sight radio is selling particularly well.
“Overall, our orders for all our products in fiscal year 2008 totaled $1.7 billion and significantly exceeded revenue. It’s been an exceptional year for sales and technology developments followed by a number of key announcements here at Eurosatory,” said Dana Mehnert.
Falcon III Manpack
In July, Harris’s newest radio, the Falcon III AN/PRC-117G multiband manpack, was certified by the Joint Test and Evaluation Lab of the Joint Program Executive Office for JTRS as fully compliant with version 2.2 of the JTRS Software Communications Architecture. Harris is now the only company with two radios – the manpack and the Falcon III AN/PRC-152(C) handheld – to receive JTEL certification from the JTRS program.
The Falcon III manpack transmits IP data to the tactical Internet at on-air rates of up to 5 Mbps, a 100-fold increase for tactical links. It also offers an extended frequency range of 30 MHz to 2 GHz. The radio is