Microwave Journal

Multi-band Trends in Tactical Military Radios Increasing Component Demand

August 5, 2010

The next generation of military tactical radios will serve as nodes and hubs in mobile ad hoc networks. These networks will connect ground, naval, airborne and satellite assets into an interactive mesh of battlefield information and decision-making. The Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) service report, "Electronic Component Demand Scenarios for Land Based Military Tactical Radios," forecasts the annual military radio market will grow from under $3 B in 2009 to almost $5 B in 2020.

Strategy Analytics predicts the electronic content from the current generation of single-band and multi-band radios will decline, as their capability no longer meets the emerging network-centric requirements. The next generation of military tactical radios, including those from the JTRS program in which companies like Harris and Thales are involved, will be capable of performance in several frequency ranges and enhanced data throughputs. These multi-mode radios will significantly upgrade capabilities and serve as the critical components needed to provide "network-centric" battle space resources.

"The development of multi-mode, multi-band radios will provide significantly upgraded capabilities with frequencies extending to 2.7 GHz," observed Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics. "Multi-mode, multi-band will mean multiple transceivers, fueling an increase in the number of RF components. Together with digital and other passive components, the resulting radio electronics market will grow to over $1 B."

Anwar concluded, "The increasing sophistication of base band processing and encryption requirements, coupled with traditionally low frequency military radio operating ranges, will mean that silicon semiconductors will remain seated as the dominant technology. However, increasing operating frequencies and bandwidths will open the doors for compound semiconductor technologies such as gallium arsenide and gallium nitride."