Coming on the heels of our post about the Nett Warrior system yesterday, it now seems the Army has finished some Soldier assessments of the new Joint Tactical Radio System enabled radio for ground pounders.
Developed in 2008 by General Dynamics C4 Systems, the “software-definabled Rifleman Radio operates on a network to adapt to mission needs,” said Maj. Jade Miller, assistant product manager for the JTRS Handheld, Manpack, SmallForm Fit program office in San Diego. It uses the Soldier Radio Waveform to fashion a “self-forming, self-healing network” without additional infrastructure, he said.
“It creates automatic range extension because it’s IP-based and can handle voice and data transmissions simultaneously,” he said. “It provides position location information for situational awareness. In urban environments, the network is able to aid connectivity through buildings to keep everyone with solid communications.”
“It’s the first type of networking radio that comes in such a small package for the force to utilize.”
Now I don’t know what half that gobbledygook means, but it sounds to me like the Soldier may be getting a portable radio with better range and data connectivity in a package not too dissimilar from what they’re already used to.
It’s funny, because this radio, the AN/PRC 154, can do a lot of what the Nett Warrior can do, but without the heads up display, batteries and wires.
The Rifleman Radio delivers networking connectivity to the frontline soldier in a low-cost, lightweight, ruggedized, body worn device. The radio transmits voice and data simultaneously utilizing the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). The AN/PRC-154 is body worn, minimizing the warfighter’s combat load while increasing functionality. Designed to bring secure (Type 2) inter-squad communications to any warfighter on the tactical edge of the battlefield, this radio also enables Team and Squad Leaders to track individual soldier GPS locations. This radio connects every warfighter to the combat network, emphasizing safety and enabling enhanced situational awareness and better decisions at the very edge of the battlefield.
Of course, early evaluators had some problems early on. Soldiers were were bummed about battery life, reliability of the network (something JTRS has been plagued with) and the radio heating up to an uncomfortable level.
But it seems some of those problems have been ironed out and the radio may be on its way to deployment soon. Anyone out there got some gouge on this?