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General Dynamics Adds Networking Waveform to Radios for Critical Soldier Connectivity
The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) team, led by General Dynamics C4 Systems, has successfully added the highly capable Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW 1.0c) to the Rifleman Radio (AN/PRC-154) and the HMS Manpack Radio intended for use in vehicles. This places HMS first in line to bring the JTRS SRW 1.0c to dismounted soldiers for an unprecedented level of network connectivity.
Next steps for the Rifleman Radio include Security Verification Testing and final certification, followed by a Department of Defense Milestone C decision which is the last step before low-rate initial production (LRIP). The government expects to make its LRIP award for HMS in November 2009.
In preparation for initial production, the General Dynamics-led team has qualified four manufacturers as suppliers of HMS radios to the government. Each of the manufacturers — BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Rockwell Collins and Thales Communications — have successfully built and delivered HMS radios to the government for testing and use during military exercises.
“Radio deliveries from four HMS manufacturers validate the JTRS Enterprise Business Model,” said HMS Product Manager Michael Lebrun. “Extensive use of Government Purpose Rights and published standards enables each manufacturer to openly compete for HMS radio production contracts.”
Vice President of Assured Communications Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems Chris Brady said, “HMS will be the first JTRS radio to reach the dismounted soldier. Equipped with SRW 1.0c, the HMS radio increases individual soldier safety and improves mission effectiveness.”
Keeping soldiers on the ground better connected to their team members and commanders while reducing power consumption and extending battery life is the HMS mission. Using the Soldier Radio Waveform, HMS radios create their own communication network without the use of towers to relay radio signals, linking any platform — such as vehicles soldiers, even robots — into ad hoc networks. This is an advantage when users are in remote locations or have to work around obstructions as one HMS radio will find another, automatically routing the message to the end user.