General Dynamics details US Army MUOS upgrade award
General Dynamics has received an order from the US Army for upgrade kits that will enable the force’s AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios to communicate with the military's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite communications system. The $5 million order was announced on 24 January.
The kits will upgrade 100 Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios to allow secure voice and data communication with the MUOS system. The channel upgrade comprises a field-replaceable power amplifier and supporting software, and will be delivered in autumn 2013.
Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems, said: ‘By upgrading fielded PRC-155 radios, the army will greatly enhance soldier effectiveness by providing a tenfold increase in SATCOM capacity for secure, over-the-horizon military communications. MUOS access on the two-channel PRC-155 will also allow current army networks to be bridged and extended far beyond their current reach.’
The two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio also runs the essential waveforms from the defence department library. They include the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) that connects dismounted soldiers to the network, the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) that seamlessly transports large amounts of data and the legacy SINCGARS waveform for communication with existing radios. Using the PRC-155's two-channel capability, soldiers operating on any one of these waveforms on one channel, can interconnect with soldiers using another waveform on the second channel. With the MUOS capability in the PRC-155, a network of soldiers can be interconnected with others in a far distant location.
The MUOS waveform, based on the communications interface found in commercial cellular networks, will deliver high-speed voice and data communications and 10-times greater capacity than the military's current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications system. With a smartphone-like flow of information, the upgraded PRC-155 radios will allow soldiers to access the MUOS communications system wherever they are deployed, on foot or from land vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft.
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