February 2, 2012

Contract Award: Harris to support Australian Armed Forces' tactical radio modernization

News Report

As announced in a recent press release, Harris has received a US$235 million (AUD$223 million) order to deliver Falcon® tactical radio systems to the Australian Department of Defence in the next phase of its tactical radio modernization program. The radios will provide Australia's armed forces with reliable and secure Type-1 tactical voice and data communications.

Harris will supply the Australian Defence Force (ADF) principally with Harris Falcon III® AN/PRC-152(C) multiband, multi-mode handheld tactical radios for portable line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight voice and data communications. The AN/PRC-152(C) is the most widely deployed JTRS Software Communications Architecture-certified handheld radio, with more than 160,000 units shipped to U.S., NATO and other allied forces worldwide.

The ADF is also acquiring the Falcon II® AN/PRC-150(C) manpack, the world's only type-1 certified HF radio. Both radios are being delivered to the ADF under the Joint Project 2072 program. Harris will support delivery, installation and training for the radios through its newly opened Asia-Pacific headquarters in Brisbane.

The Technology

The AN/PRC-152(C) is a Type-1 certified single-channel multiband handheld radio that provides voice and data communications over the 30 MHz to 512 MHz frequency range. The radio supports SINCGARS, Havequick II, VHF/UHF AM and FM, APCO P25 and both DAMA and the new Integrated Waveform for satellite communications.

AN/PRC-152 Type-1 Single-Channel Multiband Multimission Handheld Radio
The AN/PRC-152 hardware configuration options include an embedded GPS receiver that displays local positions and provides automatic position location information for situational awareness on the battlefield. Optionally available is a high band version that extends UHF LOS, and APCO P-25 frequency coverage to the 700/800 MHz band. AN/PRC-152 can store multiple mission plan files to extend adaptability of fielded radios. With the unique wireless cloning feature, squads of radios can be quickly and securely reconfigured to meet dynamic operational needs.

The radio is supporting the transition to JTRS technology, i.e. the U.S. DoD program to develop a family of software-defined tactical radios that enable networks for sending and receiving voice, data and video tactical communications on the battlefield. Already in use by all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense, many of its allies, and U.S. federal agencies, the software upgradeable AN/PRC-152 satisfies the evolving mission requirements of warfighters by delivering secure, real-time information and communication at all points of need during coordination, combat, and crisis.

The Falcon II AN/PRC-150(C) is part of the most-widely deployed family of HF radios and the only one to offer NSA-certified Type-1 information security. The radio covers the 1.6 MHz to 60 MHz frequency range and comes with a removable keypad/display unit.

Falcon II® AN/PRC-150(C)
Designed to provide soldiers with secure voice and data communications, even in the harshest conditions, AN/PRC-150(C) military HF radios have been deployed by US and coalition forces enabling them to stay connected to mission critical information during missions where line of sight communications are not an option. The radio exploits a software-defined platform which enables adaptability to changing mission requirements through software upgrades. The AN/PRC-150(C) features Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) and high performance Third Generation ALE (3G) to provide linking and error-free data performance. Its advanced frequency hopping ensures consistent, secure communications even in the presence of jamming.

"This order expands our ongoing collaboration with the Australian Department of Defence, which is working toward developing a networked Australian brigade in 2013," said Brendan O'Connell, president, International Business, Harris RF Communications. "Our solutions and proven expertise in tactical communications are making a difference for ADF forces by delivering voice, video and data across the battlefield. We're also providing the ADF with world-class field support, highlighted by the recent opening of our regional headquarters in Brisbane."

The Context

On May 2011, the Australian Government gave first pass approval to Joint Project 2072 Phase 2B, which is aimed at providing the ADF with a next generation telecommunications network capability. This capability will provide a modern, deployable communications system that enables the transmission of information over a range of wired and wireless networking services, such as radios, satellite and computer servers and terminals. Joint Project 2072 Phase 2B is cost capped between $100 million and $500 million, and it will enable Army and elements of the Air Force to replace ageing mobile communications infrastructure services and provide commanders with an increased level of situational awareness, command and control and information sharing capability.

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References: Harris (1,2,3), Defence Market Intelligence (4)

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