USMC plans switch to multichannel radios
The US Marine Corps (USMC) plans to evaluate the AN/PRC-158 radio as it looks for smaller, lighter, more capable solutions.
The corps is seeking a multichannel radio solution that allows for simultaneous monitoring between two radio networks. The new man-packable, multichannel AN/PRC-158 radio is designed to cover a wider frequency spectrum than the previous AN/PRC-117G single-channel radio.
The USMC also plans to field a handheld multichannel radio. Both the handheld and man-packable systems will be capable of interfacing with a vehicular integration kit and can be mounted onto any military vehicle, such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
The multichannel radios will lighten the load for marines by encompassing two radios in one system, allowing a unit to carry a multichannel system rather than two individual radios.
The introduction of the multichannel radio system is a significant step toward meeting the National Security Agency’s mandate, which requires all radios not compliant with cryptographic modernisation standards to be replaced by 2024.
The USMC is seeking a Field User Evaluation of the AN/PRC-158 by the fourth quarter of 2019 and is anticipating a procurement decision in 2020. The capability is slated to be fielded by operating forces before 2021.
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