Northrop Grumman has partnered with ITT Exelis to compete for the US Army’s Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR) programme, aimed at providing a new vehicle-mounted, software-defined radio system.

The teaming agreement follows the army’s draft request for proposal (RFP) for a non-developmental vehicular radio to replace the cancelled ground mobile radio (GMR) element of the joint tactical radio system (JTRS) project.

Northrop has offered its Freedom 350 multifunction radio system, while Exelis will provide support for radio development, manufacturing, vehicle installation and integration, and logistical support services.

The Northrop-Exelis radio system will connect war-fighters with each other and command centres by delivering mobile internet-like voice, data and video capabilities in on-the-move tactical platforms.

The Freedom 350 is based on an enhanced JTRS software communications architecture (SCA) core framework, is compatible with other radios in the field and uses multiple waveforms, including the soldier radio waveform (SRW) and wideband networking waveform (WNW).

The two-channel, full-duplex radio can be configured to perform multiple missions including jamming communications for improvised explosive devices (IEDs), spectrum management, geolocation and signals intelligence missions.

The radio system can be upgraded with new waveform software and has a modular, open architecture that will cause minimal impact on aircraft and vehicles.

The formal RFP for competition will be issued in February 2012 with MVNR to be purchased under a single, two-year, firm fixed-price contract expected to be awarded between December 2012 and January 2013.

The army is planning to purchase 800-1,000 MVNRs to equip 8 to ten brigade combat teams in 2014.

Other potential bidders for the programme include Harris and General Dynamics.