Eurosatory: New SIGINT for UK SF
UK Special Forces are understood to have become the first customer for L-3 Linkabit’s latest tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) system, the PRD-13(V)3 which provides an On-The-Move Direction Finding (DF) capability.
According to defence sources, deliveries of 14 PRD-13(V)3 systems were delivered in the first half of 2016 to Special Forces Communicator (SFC) units which directly support the Special Air Service and Special Boat Service regiments.
According to L3 Linkabit, the PRD-13(V)13 allows mission commanders to ‘scan large segments of bandwidth to quickly characterise the RF environment, providing situation awareness and the ability to search the RF spectrum on a continuous basis without placing added burden on SIGINT operators’.
The system features an Android-based handheld controller which can be tethered to a processor or wireless network for remote access. The device can be operated in a static (mounted on a tripod); manpack; and vehicle-mounted modes, covering 2-3000MHz frequencies in standard and on-the-move operations.
Requiring 20W power input, the device features MA-445C or MA-145A antennas with an all up weight between 12kg and 14kg. The PRD-13(V)3 can be integrated with any standard military radio, L-3 Linkabit officials explained.
‘Directed and general search modes operate together to acquire well understood signals while concurrently providing situation awareness with detection, AoA and signal characterisation on new potential targets,’ the company stated. ‘This capability provides tactical and long-term strategic advantages on the battlefield.’
The news follows evaluation trials of the equipment by the US Marine Corps in April 2016 which saw L3 Linkabit successfully network static, manpack and vehicle fit PRD-13(V)3 configurations into a single network for enhanced accuracy, particularly suitable to emerging requirements associated with Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT).
Looking to further improve the system in the future, L-3 Linkabit revealed it was considering moves to integrate a Panasonic Toughbook laptop with the SIGINT system as an alternative end user device to the existing wrist-mounted tablet. This, officials revealed, would allow for more efficient analysis of detected signals.
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