The US Army has tested the tactical networking capabilities of the Raytheon-provided Mobile Ad hoc Interoperability Network GATEway (Maingate) radio system during two field trials with army units.

During the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) conducted at Fort Benning, Georgia, US, the radio served as a communications backbone by delivering multiple unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) video feeds and other high-bandwidth data services from battalion to the tactical edge of the battlefield.

Maingate facilitated connectivity between cellular networks, hand-held radios and the war-fighter information network – tactical (WIN-T) system, thereby helping soldiers to transmit information across battle command systems and sensors. The system also simultaneously provided multiple channels of real-time video, situational awareness, chat and other applications during the AEWE.

Fort Benning’s Manoeuvre Battle Lab Experimentation Branch chief Harry Lubin said: "During the entire AEWE event, Raytheon’s network provided the Experimental Force soldiers with a very reliable high-speed backbone that did not require any soldier or field representative intervention."

Maingate features a two-channel, high-data rate, next-generation, network-centric radio that enables seamless battlefield connectivity using the next-generation mobile Ad hoc networking waveform and a gateway system. Currently, the US Army is using more than 100 units of the Maingate that served as an alternative to the cancelled Ground Mobile Radio programme during the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) conducted at Fort Bliss, Texas, US.

The waveform supported four times more nodes than other competing radios at the NIE and also exceeded wideband networking requirements for the future Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio solicitation. Raytheon is also planning to participate in the next NIE phase, 12.2, to deliver low-cost, internet-protocol-based networking systems to the army.