Harris Falcon radio

C4ISR

New radios to improve SOCOM’s tactical communications

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has awarded an $18 million contract to Harris Corp. for Falcon III manpack and handheld tactical radios. The contract was awarded during the second quarter of fiscal 2014.

SOCOM is purchasing more Falcon III AN/PRC-117G and AN/PRC-152A radios to supplement the deployment of a SOCOM-accredited wideband tactical communications network, according to an announcement by Harris. The new network is designed to send and receive tactical data, voice and video to improve situational awareness and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The AN/PRC-117G provides wireless, high-bandwidth communications and is capable of streaming video, simultaneous voice and data feeds, connectivity to secure networks, combat net radio capabilities, and collaborative chat. The system has 10 times the processing power of current manpack radios, provides continuous coverage in the 30 MHz to 2 GHz frequency band, and has fully-upgradable software, Harris said. The radio is also half the weight of current systems, increasing mobility, security and survivability.

Meanwhile, the AN/PRC-152A is a multiband handheld device that can operate on traditional and wideband IP-based networking waveforms. Its data applications include mobile device apps, text messaging and email, situational awareness and mapping, and video and image sharing.

"Harris Falcon III wideband radio systems are delivering the tactical Internet to the battlefield," said George Helm, president of Harris RF Communications’ DOD business unit. "This new network is opening up a world of new combat applications, such as collaborative chat, biometric enrollments, video conferencing and video ISR.”

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