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Modernized Radios Add to Performance Levels

May 4, 2020
Modernized manpack radios are providing critical terrestrial voice and data communications whether as carried or vehicular-mounted units.

Communications is critical on the battlefield and AN/PRC-162 tactical radios have long been the means of the message. But the U.S. Army’s push for systems modernization means improved performance even for these “manpack” radios, and Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., was up to the challenge.

As part of the modernizing handheld, manpack, and small form fit (HMS) radios, Collins Aerospace Systems is bringing enhanced performance levels to these radios in both dismounted and vehicle-mounted versions. The radios work with legacy waveforms such as SINCGARS as well as newer signals such as warrior robust enhanced network (WREN) waveforms. The modernized manpack radios also provide tactical satellite-communications (satcom) by means of mobile user objective system (MUOS) capability. The radios have two independent channels and can even boost audio using optional external 50-W speakers.

This eighth order for the manpack radios from the Army comes as part of a multiple-award contract issued to Collins Aerospace (then Rockwell Collins) and two other companies in 2016. The contract has a $12.7 billion ceiling and an ordering period ending March 2026.

“Our ground radio gives warfighters access to the most advanced networked communication technology available, ultimately leading to improved situational awareness and mission success,” said Ryan Bunge, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation and Guidance Solutions for Collins Aerospace. “We’ve delivered superior communications capabilities with our airborne radios for decades, and we’ve leveraged that expertise to provide a complete, interoperable solution for both ground and air assets at the lowest life cycle cost.”

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