General Dynamics (GD) C4 Systems has received a contract from the US Army to upgrade the fielded AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios, to enable communications with the military’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite comms network.
Under the $5m contract, around 100 existing PRC-155 radios will have upgrades such as a field-replaceable power amplifier and supporting software.
General Dynamics C4 Systems president Chris Marzilli said: "By upgrading fielded PRC-155 radios, the army will greatly enhance soldier effectiveness by providing a tenfold increase in SATCOM capacity for secure, over-the-horizon military communications.
"MUOS access on the two-channel PRC-155 will also allow current army networks to be bridged and extended far beyond their current reach."
The upgrades will allow secure voice and data communication with the MUOS system for on-orbit testing.
In addition, the two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio runs the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) and Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW), as well as the legacy SINCGARS waveform to allow soldiers to remain interconnected on the battlefield.
The SRW connects dismounted soldiers to the network, while the WNW transports huge amounts of data for communication and SINCGARS enables connectivity with existing radios.
On integration of the MUOS capability in the PRC-155, a network of soldiers can be interconnected with others wherever they are deployed, on foot or from land vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft.
Capable of providing ten times greater capacity than the military’s current Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications system, the MUOS waveform has been designed based on the commercial cellular network communications interface to deliver high-speed voice and data communications.
Deliveries under the contract will be carried out towards the end of 2013.