US defence contractor and information technology services provider L3Harris Technologies has secured an $86m order from the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for handheld tactical radios that will improve the communications capabilities of Special Operations Forces (SOF) operators.

Under the order, L3Harris will provide Falcon IV AN/PRC-163 two-channel handheld tactical radios to USSOCOM, reinforcing the company’s position as a major provider of software-defined radios to the US Department of Defense.

In 2015, USSOCOM awarded a $390m indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract under the Next Generation Tactical Communications (NGTC) programme to deliver an advanced two-channel radio for SOF operators, and the order won by L3Harris Technologies is part of the contract.

The company has also secured an NGTC contract from USSOCOM to deliver multichannel next-generation manpack radios, which form a crucial part of the ecosystem of SOF-focused solutions that L3Harris is providing to USSOCOM.

The multi-channel, software-defined AN/PRC-163 radio system enables advanced tactical communications and meets USSOCOM’s requirements for a two-channel, multiband, multifunction and multi-mission tactical radio.

The AN/PRC-163 features an easy-to-use interface and a flexible software-defined architecture that allows users to add new waveforms and capabilities. The mission modules will allow the addition of tailored applications for specific missions such as receiving ISR full-motion video.

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L3Harris’s Falcon IV NGTC radios are capable of facilitating simultaneous communications over multiple channels and crossband. They also have the capability of satellite communications, VHF/UHF/L/S-band and multiple mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET) waveforms, including TSM-X and ANW2.

L3Harris communication systems president Dana Mehnert said: “L3Harris has invested heavily in our Falcon IV multi-channel software defined radios and is delivering advanced technology with game-changing capabilities to our USSOCOM customer.

“This full-rate production order is a major milestone in our contract with USSOCOM to provide solutions that achieve their vision.”

L3Harris Technologies provides solutions for customers’ mission-critical needs for defence and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains.