The US Marine Corps (USMC) has placed orders for Harris next-generation Falcon III multi-channel manpack tactical radios.

The $15m contract will support the USMC’s AN/MRC-145 programme.

Harris RF Communications Department of Defence business president George Helm said: "This order represents a strategic investment that will enable the marine corps to keep pace with rapidly changing technology.

"Our radios meet current military requirements and are positioned for future enhancements through software upgrades."

"Our radios meet current military requirements and are positioned for future enhancements through software upgrades.

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"We’ve already incorporated the soldier radio waveform into the radio and will be adding advanced tactical satellite communications capabilities offered by the new mobile-user objective system.

"This flexible approach fulfils the vision of the joint tactical radio system."

The new Falcon III is derived from the Falcon III AN/PRC-117G, which is a software upgradeable manpack radio that enables communication through voice, video and data for improved command, control and situational awareness. It also provides an internet potential to the battlefield.

Claimed to be the smallest, lightest and most capable two-channel manpack radio currently available, it can operate over the new MUOS military communications satellite without any hardware modifications.

The system integrates the necessary features for all units of the US Department of Defense and uses a single battery, reducing size and weight for the dismounted soldier, as well as supporting multi-channel cross banding.