The US Army is set to take delivery of the first two-channel AN/PRC-155 joint tactical-radio system (JTRS) handheld, manpack, small-form fit (HMS) radios from General Dynamics C4 Systems (GDC4S) and Rockwell Collins.
This will form part of an order placed in January for 1,500 additional PRC-155 radios, under a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract.
Awarded with an aim to support the army's fielding requirements, the first $56.4m LRIP contract was placed in July 2011 for an initial batch of 100 radios, followed by a second $306m LRIP contract for 3,726 two-channel manpack radios in November 2012.
General Dynamics C4 Systems president Chris Marzilli said: "We will continue to produce the PRC-155 manpack radios, which provide soldiers with the most advanced and cyber-secure communications capability."
Designed to enhance situational awareness for better decision-making, the radio will ensure that troops have access to life-saving voice and data communications on the battlefield.
Certified by the National Security Agency to provide classified voice and data at the top secret level and below, the radio provides line-of-sight, beyond-line-of-sight and high-bandwidth waveforms for on-the-move voice, sensor, data and position-location capabilities on soldiers or in vehicles.
It is capable of supporting all three of the army's non-proprietary networking waveforms, including the soldier radio waveform (SRW), wideband networking waveform (WNW), as well as the mobile-user objective system (MUOS).
Work on the radios is being performed by GDC4S in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Florida, US, while Rockwell Collins is carrying out its duties in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, US.
The army will receive the last PRC-155 radio ordered under the initial LRIP in November.
Upon completion of the follow-on LRIP production order, the US Army will have more than 5,300 PRC-155 units.
Image: The AN/PRC-155 HMS manpack radio in production at the GD radio factory in Scottsdale, Arizona, US. Photo: copyright © 2012 General Dynamics C4 Systems.