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Manpack and Leader enter full-rate production

Leader Radio replaced an earlier acquisition of Rifleman Radio after the military decided a two-channel solution. (Photo: L3Harris)

After a long process of development, acquisition and testing, the US Army continues to fully produce its new two-channel software-defined radios, which will fully integrate the front lines into the Integrated Tactical Network.

The U.S. military has awarded Full Rate Production (FRP) contracts to its Manpack and Leader Radio stations.

The C3T Program Executive Office (PEO), which is leading the procurement efforts, announced that the FRP award follows two years of operational experiments with 1st Combat team of the brigade of 82ndAirborne Division.

This culminated in an initial operational test and assessment (IOT & E) at Fort Bragg in January 2021, which helped confirm the decision to proceed with the FRP decision announced on 24 September.

The Manpack radio contract is a fixed-price (FFP) purchase order totaling $ 226.5 million for L3Harris and Collins Aerospace. The first provides 2,320 AN / PRC-158 radio stations and the latter is set to provide 1547 AN / PRC-162 units. A total of 65,000 Manpack radios are expected.

The Leader radio contract is also an order to supply FFP for a total of $ 118.7 million to L3Harris and Thales. L3Harris provides 2,498 Falcon IV AN / PRC-163 radio stations with Thales to provide 1,096 AN / PRC-148D Improved radios for multi-band inter / internal team (IMBITR). A total of about 100,000 Leader radio stations are expected.

These kits will be delivered to the combat teams of an infantry brigade in the 25sth Division, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Brigade (BCT) Brigade Combat Team.

A PEO C3T spokesman said Manpack and Leader radios had already been included as part of the delivery of feature set 21 (CS21) during the earlier phase of LRIP. This was during these earlier phases last year Shepard reports hardware and network issues as part of the user reviews that have been identified.

The spokesman said the IOT & E phase had also helped identify areas for improvement and the program office was “working to improve radio training by reviewing soldier training packages for easier understanding and better removal.” troubleshooting, engaging suppliers in hardware and software improvements and aligning technical improvements with ongoing Integrated tactical network (ITN). “

The spokesman added: “A total of four combat teams of the brigade have received radio stations, and the radio stations are also used by the brigades to support the Army Security Forces. The latest radios were used by the 3rd Infantry BCT, 25th Infantry Division during [a] training of brigades in the theater INDO-PACOM-said the spokesman.

The previous brigades were 1st BCT and 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division; and 173rd Airborne Brigade.

The wider distribution of radios is an essential part of ITN, as they introduce terrestrial network capabilities using integrated 4G cellular networks in existing military communication systems for dismantled combat units.

In particular, Manpack Radio provides the BLoS capability using the SATCOM tactical constellation of the mobile objective user system, which allows voice calls to be made worldwide.

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