U.S. COMBAT PLANS PROMPT NEW ARMY RADIO
BATTLESPACE visits General Dynamics Decision Systems
by Scott R. Gourley
The exigencies of combat operations under Operation Iraqi Freedom recently prompted the U.S. Army to join the list of military customers to field its first AN/PRC-112G handheld radios from General Dynamics Decision Systems (GDDS). While meeting near term U.S. Army combat requirements, the recent fielding also has potential implications for programs like the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS).
As the latest member of the HOOK2T Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) radio family, the PRC-112G provides: encrypted two-way messaging; embedded Global
Positioning System capability; direct line of sight communications between downed personnel and rescuers; Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) capability as a backup means of locating downed pilots; software / hardware ‘upgradability’; and broad communications functionality with manned or unmanned aircraft.
The recent Army order was received from the Headquarters of the U.S. Army’s V [Fifth] Corps, currently the corps responsible for ground operations in Iraq. Following what government representatives described as “extensive research and scenario planning,” V Corps ordered 100 radios for the 3rd Infantry Division out of Ft. Stewart, Georgia, the 101st Airborne Division out of Ft. Campbell,
Kentucky, and its own 11th Regiment and 12th Aviation Brigade. The order was sent to the General Services Administration for contracting. GDDS processed, and shipped the urgently needed radios to the Army customer within 24 hours of order receipt.
In addition to the PRC-112G radios, the $912,000 order included the companion Quickdraw2′ Interrogator system.
Along with the new Army order, the United Kingdom recently ordered approximately 960 PRC-112Gs for use by its own military forces. In fact, over the past five months the U.K. Defence Ministry has ordered $12 million worth of radios and ancillary equipment from the HOOK2 family.
Given the increasing domestic and international application of the PRC-112G and other members of the CSAR family, BATTLESPACE recently visited General Dynamics Decision Systems in Scottsdale, Arizona, for an expanded look at this vital component of the C4ISR arena.
FULL DETAILS OF THIS VISIT BY SCOTT WILL BE PUBLISHED IN OUR ON-LINE JUNE ISSUE