The US Army has deployed the General Dynamics C4 Systems (GDC4S) joint tactical radio system (JTRS) handheld, manpack & small form fit (HMS) Rifleman radio (AN/PRC-154) and Itronix GD300 wearable computer with its 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan.
As part of the planned operational assessments, the radios and GD300 computers were deployed to provide Rangers with intra-squad communications and run the tactical ground reporting (TIGR) system to send text messages, situation reports and other battlefield information. Conducted by the JTRS HMS programme office and the Ranger Regiment, the operational assessment follows three separate successful evaluations in 2011 and will be responsible for the future fielding of the Rifleman radio to the army as a whole.
Designed to bring secure (Type 2) tactical inter-squad communications to any war-fighter on the battlefield, the AN/PRC-154 is a body-worn, lightweight radio that also enables team and squad leaders to track the GPS locations of individual soldiers. The radio transmits voice and data simultaneously utilising the soldier radio waveform (SRW) and also provides soldiers with enhanced situational awareness to make informed decisions at the tactical edge of the battlefield.
GDC4S Assured Communications vice-president Chris Brady said: ''The JTRS HMS Rifleman radio is ready for combat and could reduce the military's dependence on interim radio solutions that are unable to deliver anything like this.''
The Itronix GD300 is a rugged, arm or chest-worn computer that operates as an ultra-sensitive commercial GPS unit or interfaces with tactical radio networks for secure communications and access to information. The Android-based operating system also features a 3.0MP camera, eCompass and vibe motor for discrete notifications, and can also accommodate current and emerging applications for war-fighters.
The 75th Ranger Regiment is the US Army's Special Operations light infantry unit and has been deployed continuously in Afghanistan since October 2001.