US: The US Army is taking delivery of a new batch of two-channel, software-defined AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios designed to let soldiers in the field connect to the Army’s network backbone. General Dynamics C4 Systems and Rockwell Collins are delivering the first of 1,500 radios ordered in January under a Low-Rate Initial Production contract, according to a spokesperson from General Dynamics. The last of the radios is to be delivered by November, at which time the Army will have 5,300 PRC-155 Manpacks. Manpack radios are an key piece of the Army’s interconnected battlefield environment. Able to fit in a backpack, as well as to be mounted on a vehicle, they allow soldiers carrying Rifleman Radios and Nett Warrior smartphones to connect to the battlefield network via the Soldier Radio Waveform and the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, SINCGARS waveforms.
The radios have been tested and improved through the Army’s series of Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) exercises, and have been field to Combat Battalion Teams of the 101st Airborne Division, the Army has said. Fielding is underway at several other divisions as well. The Army uses NIE exercises to test its battlefield network—the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical—and equipment such as the Manpack radio, in part to make sure its most commonly used features are readily available. At the recent NIE 14.2 at Forst Bliss, Texas, for example, the Army planned to test the Manpack radios on foot in rough terrain while using Google Earth to scout locations.
Source: Defense systems