January 24, 2012

General Dynamics' JTRS Rifleman Radio and GD300 Wearable Computer in support of U.S. Special Operations Units in Afghanistan

News Report

As reported in a recent press release, the General Dynamics C4 Systems' JTRS HMS Rifleman Radio and the General Dynamics' Itronix GD300 wearable computer deployed this month to Afghanistan with elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment. The 75th Ranger Regiment is a rapidly deployable strike force, the largest special operations combat element in the U.S. Army. The 75th Ranger Regiment has been continuously deployed in support of the War on Terror since October 2001.

The Rangers are equipped with the Rifleman Radio for intra-squad communications and with the GD300, running the Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) tactical ‘app,’ to send text messages, situation reports and other information to individual solders. Feedback from planned operational assessments will be used to inform the future fielding of the Rifleman Radio to the U.S. Army as a whole.

The JTRS HMS program office and the Ranger Regiment decided to conduct the operational assessment following three separate successful evaluations in 2011. The Rifleman Radio is part of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) radio family.

The Technology

General Dynamics' AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio delivers networking connectivity to the frontline soldier in a low-cost, lightweight, ruggedized, body worn device. Designed to bring secure inter-squad communications to any warfighter on the tactical edge of the battlefield, this radio also enables Team and Squad Leaders to track individual soldier GPS locations.

General Dynamics' AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio
The AN/PRC-154 is a software programmable radio, which can use encryption to safeguard information, and is built to send Internet Protocol packets of data, voice, video and images via multiple waveforms between static command centers, vehicles on the move, and dismounted individual soldiers on patrol. The JTRS waveforms, SRW and the Wideband Networking Waveform, known as WNW, are integrated with the satellite communications backbone of the Army network, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, to transmit that information on the upper tactical internet.
The Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW), in particular, represents a networking waveform capable to perform in a complex military environment, in the presence of adversarial threats, and providing a secure high-bandwidth communications link specifically designed for equipments that are small, light, don’t consume much power and use low-profile antennas.

By employing a National Security Agency Type 2 certification, the Rifleman Radio can offer controlled but unclassified communications a Soldier can employ without requiring security clearances. This solves one radio problem for infantry units, which are comprised mostly of troops who are not cleared. The NSA Type 2 encryption bars classified information from being passed during transmissions and makes secure information more difficult for enemies to intercept.

The AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio is part of the JTRS Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit, or simply JTRS HMS, family of radios. JTRS HMS is a materiel solution meeting the requirements to support U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy communication needs. In June 2011, the JTRS HMS program achieved a Milestone C decision, enabling the Low Rate Initial Production of 6,250 AN/PRC-154 Rifleman and 100 AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios.

General Dynamics Itronix’s Android-based GD300 Rugged Wearable Computer operates like an ultra-sensitive commercial GPS unit or, with the click of a cable, interfaces with tactical radios like the Rifleman Radio (AN/PRC-154) for secure access to the tactical network.

General Dynamics Itronix’s GD300 Rugged Wearable Computer
The GD300 hosts the open architecture, Android-based operating system to easily accommodate current and emerging applications for warfighters at all command levels. Operating in two distinct modes, the GD300 serves as a stand-alone GPS device or, when connected to a tactical radio, performs as a tactical mission computer. The GD300 supports commercially available standalone applications or military “apps” like the Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) System.

TIGR is an information-centric application that provides data collection and reporting capabilities to army users, enabling company and platoon-level knowledge sharing. TIGR provides a map-based user interface enhanced for military application and supports multi-media and GPS input as well as distributed search and caching capability. Designed to provide high availability, TIGR is resilient to network disconnects and operates seamlessly through periods of network outage. The highly intuitive visualizations allow soldiers to quickly review all available intelligence including places, events, people, and objects for efficient and timely battlefield awareness and increased combat effectiveness.


This capability provides unprecedented communication and situational awareness that changes how soldiers fight,” said Chris Brady, vice president of Assured Communications for General Dynamics C4 Systems. “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.

References: General Dynamics (1,2,3), C4I Technology News (4)

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