AMF JTRS successfully demonstrates enhanced communications
Lockheed Martin has demonstrated how software-defined radios can extend land force tactical networks by connecting disparate ground troops with the Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System (AMF JTRS) at a recent US Army exercise. According to the company, the Lockheed Martin team demonstrated the AMF JTRS range and capability by successfully relaying a combination of voice, data and imagery from a test bed AH-64 Block III Apache helicopter to ground forces over the Internet-Protocol enabled Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW).
The AMF JTRS is a software defined radio that is capable of providing internet like connectivity, providing a secure infrastructure for joint forces to send data, imagery, voice, and video. It is a critical aspect of the US military’s move to upgrade and expand their tactical networking capabilities.
According to Lockheed Martin, during the exercise, a pre-engineering development model AMF JTRS Small Airborne radio in the Apache allowed pilots to communicate directly with six disparate ground elements using JTRS Handheld Manpack Small Form Fit (HMS) Rifleman Radios. The Apache first provided an aerial network extension for ground based communications between troops who were separated by mountainous terrain and long distances. Using AMF JTRS, the Apache provided an automatic relay without having to deviate from its assigned mission of providing close air support for ground forces, and during the same mission enabled forces using HMS Rifleman Radios to communicate by voice and data with the Apache over greater distances. The Apache was able to break all connections in the network and then rejoin all units in the JTRS network without major delay or information loss.
The Apache and the ground forces were communicating using joint tactical radios enabled with SRW. By using mission applications on the AMF JTRS radio, ground nodes in the tactical operations centre were able to mark-up imagery and re-distribute to users connected by the JTRS network. Throughout the simulated mission, Apache pilots, using AMF JTRS, were able to seamlessly exchange command and control and situational awareness messages with six groups of disparate ground forces (each equipped with JTRS-enabled radios).
The Lockheed Martin team includes General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and BAE Systems.
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