In quest of a potential U.S. Army contract that could include orders for more than 60,000 portable manpack radios, Rockwell Collins has completed qualification testing (QT) on its AN/PRC-162 two-channel, software-defined-radio (SDR) military communication systems. The radios are based on the company’s TruNet networked communications family of products (see photo).
As part of the competition for the U.S. Army’s Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit (HMS) program—a contract that could potentially be worth $12.7 billion—Rockwell recently delivered 30 of the portable SDR manpack systems for evaluation. The HMS contract competition now moves on to the customer test (CT) phase for product evaluation. The Army is authorized to procure more than 60,000 portable radios as part of a 10-year acquisition contract, with full-rate production of the radios expected to begin in fiscal year 2017.
Rockwell Collins’ candidate for the contract award is a rugged and versatile radio with the flexibility of software programmability of filters and modulation schemes. It can operate in broadband and narrowband modes, and with a wide range of waveforms, including for satellite communications (satcom) use.
“For years, we’ve delivered secure communications with the ARC-210, the most widely fielded radio in the airborne market,” said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager for Rockwell Collins’ Communication and Navigation Solutions. “The AN/PRC-162 benefits directly from this technology baseline, as well as our proven experience integrating networked communication across the battlefield. Our TruNet product line represents a complete turnkey system solution utilizing both air and ground assets and using many common assemblies, parts, and manufacturing processes between them.”