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USAF downselects Falcon radio for airborne comms competition

8th July 2019 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a development prototype contract from the US Air Force for its Falcon Wideband Airborne HF Radio, which will now be part of a downselect competition for the replacement of the service’s AN/ARC-190 airborne HF radio.

The L3Harris Falcon Wideband Airborne HF Radio is a software-defined digital multi-mode wideband radio with the capacity to augment space-based beyond-line-of-sight systems, providing an alternative capability in a satellite communications (SATCOM)-denied environment. 

The radio addresses USAF’s HF radio modernisation requirement, and will enable airmen to communicate data at speeds up to ten times greater than the legacy ARC-190 radios.

It features embedded encryption, electronic counter-countermeasures, low probability of intercept and low probability of detection, and is upgradable to accept new waveforms and software-delivered capabilities. 

The form factor combines three different pieces of equipment into a single package to reduce size, weight and power consumption, which is critical for airborne applications, the company says. 

‘The capabilities provided by the L3Harris Falcon Wideband Airborne HF Radio will be a game-changer for the US Air Force, with L3Harris’ modernised software-defined technology that is designed to overmatch in contested and SATCOM-denied environments,’ Ryan McCarty, VP and GM of DoD tactical communications at L3Harris Communication Systems, said.

‘This prototype development selection expands our airborne product line and brings our leadership in tactical HF radios to the airborne segment.’

L3Harris was selected by USAF in a competitive prototype tender and will now be part of a competitive downselect. 

The initial development phase will lead to low-rate initial production followed by a full production decision.

The Shephard News Team


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