The US Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) has placed orders for the Harris next-generation Falcon III multi-channel manpack tactical radio.

Claimed to be the smallest, lightest and most capable two-channel manpack radio currently available, it is designed to operate over the new mobile-user objective system (MUOS) military communications satellite without any changes to the hardware. Delivery is scheduled for later this year.

Harris RF Communications Department of Defense business president George Helm said that the radio represents a quantum leap in tactical communications technology.

"It is a modular, software-defined radio that recognises the battlefield is never static."

"It is a modular, software-defined radio that recognises the battlefield is never static," Helm said. "With its two channels and expansion slot, it allows users to deploy the capabilities they need to be successful."

Developed with an aim of surpassing the requirements of the handheld, manpack, small-form factor tactical radio programme, the new radio is capable of hosting all required US Government wideband and narrowband waveforms.

It incorporates features required by all branches of the US Department of Defense (DoD), and uses only a single battery, reducing size and weight for the dismounted soldier, while supporting multi-channel cross banding.

In March 2014, the Falcon III AN/PRC-117G multi-band manpack radio, hosting the MUOS waveform, successfully completed initial interoperability testing at the Joint Tactical Networking Center MUOS Reference Implementation Laboratory in San Diego, California, US.

Defence Technology