Microwave Journal

Harris Corp. Delivering Combat-Proven Wideband Networking to U.S. Army Network Integration Evaluation

July 18, 2011

Harris Corp. is delivering combat-proven wideband networking capability through its Falcon III AN/PRC-117G tactical radio system as part of the U.S. Army Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) at Fort Bliss, TX, and White Sands Missile Range, NM.

The NIE is the first in a series of semi-annual evaluations designed to integrate and mature the Army's tactical network. The evaluation involves a series of tests and evaluations among five programs of record and 30 emerging or developmental technologies. Involving all 3,800 soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, the NIE uniquely combines test and evaluation in a single venue, with the goal of speeding the deployment of an integrated battlefield network.

One of the main purposes of the NIE is to evaluate existing network capabilities, including the Harris AN/PRC-117G multiband manpack tactical radio system. For the NIE, Harris deployed a 20- and 30- Node wideband AN/PRC-117G network, powered by its Adaptive Networking Wideband Waveform, or ANW2. The radio network connects a range of military vehicles to company command post platforms and is providing access to applications such as TIGR, FTP and combat chat and is also being used widely in first support missions. The Army's objective is to assess and collect data on the AN/PRC-117G's wideband networking performance.

"The NIE is a unique event designed to push systems to the limit," said Maj. Gen. Dennis Moran (Ret.), Vice President, Government Business Development, Harris RF Communications. "Over the course of the exercise, the AN/PRC-117G has successfully delivered outstanding mobile ad-hoc networking capability to a range of vehicular-based forces.

"We've also received great user feedback and valuable insights into our radio and waveform, and will be quickly incorporating this into future releases. Harris strongly supports the NIE process. We look forward to continued collaboration with the Army on behalf of soldiers, including the upcoming certification and release of the DoD's new Soldier Radio Waveform in our AN/PRC-117G radios."

Also under evaluation at the NIE is the RF-7800W High-Capacity Line-of-Sight radio (HCLOS), which delivers quick-to-deploy, point-to-point or point-to-multipoint wireless Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure. The Army is using the RF-7800W during the evaluation to provide remote video feeds to command posts, battalions and headquarters installations.

Harris developed the AN/PRC-117G wideband radio through the JTRS program Enterprise Business Model (EBM). The EBM encourages companies to develop next-generation solutions in tactical communications using their own investment capital to integrate JTRS waveform software. In doing so, the EBM stimulates competition, increases innovation, and reduces costs through software re-use.

Widely deployed with more than 10,000 radios shipped, the Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-117G is the first wideband manpack radio system with a JTRS-certified Software Communications Architecture and NSA Type-1 certified information security. The AN/PRC-117G provides unprecedented situational awareness through wideband networking of the battlefield and delivering critical real-time information to warfighters on the move and their field commanders. The AN/PRC-117G enables a growing number of network-enabled missions such as intelligence reporting and analysis, collaborative chat, route planning, MEDEVAC, convoy tracking and checkpoint biometrics.