Two AN/PRC-155 manpack radios, produced by General Dynamics C4 Systems, have successfully carried out secure radio-to-radio voice and data communications tests through the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite network at an undisclosed location.
During the scheduled MUOS end-to-end system testing, a handheld PRC-155 radio used the final version of the MUOS waveform to transmit voice and data communications to the orbiting MUOS satellite, through the MUOS ground station, and back to the second radio.
Representing the first communication of any military radio with the MUOS space-ground network, the testing is expected to expand the reach of troops' network to even the most isolated locations.
General Dynamics C4 Systems president Chris Marzilli said the AN-PRC-155 represents the only government-owned, off-the-shelf radio to have demonstrated this capability.
"Using the same cell phone technology that powers commercial smartphones, military and government personnel can make secure 'calls' and exchange critical information from anywhere in the world," Marzilli said.
The capability demonstration will also enable soldiers to network their communications using the MUOS system during deployments, or while travelling on foot, in ground vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft.
The non-proprietary MUOS waveform provides high-speed voice and data communications at 16-times greater capacity compared with the military's existing ultra-high frequency satellite system.
More than 3,800 AN/PRC-155 units will be acquired by the US Army.
Part of the handheld, manpack, small form fit (HMS) line of radios, the AN/PRC-155 is designed to provide line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS), high-bandwidth waveforms for on-the-move voice, sensor, data and position-location capabilities to dismounted troops or those in vehicles.
Other wave forms supported by the radio include soldier radio waveform (SRW) that connects dismounted soldiers to the network, and the wideband networking waveform (WNW), which seamlessly transports large amounts of data and the legacy SINCGARS waveform for communication with current radios.
Image: Using the MUOS satellite network, soldiers can exchange critical information from anywhere in the world. Photo: © 2013 Lockheed Martin Corporation.