Army orders 6,350 JTRS HMS radios to provide tactical users with secure, mobile, networked communications.
General Dynamics C4 Systems has received an order from the U.S. Department of Defense for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) Rifleman radio (AN/PRC-154) and Manpack (AN/PRC-155) radio. Following a recent Milestone C decision, the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) order, which has an initial value of approximately $56.4 million, calls for the production of 6,250 Rifleman and 100 Manpack radios and includes expenses for non-recurring startup costs, accessories, training, related equipment and supplies.
The JTRS HMS networking radios are the first ground-domain radios that will be fielded by the U.S. military that meet the full suite of JTRS requirements. Department of Defense documents indicate that the Army plans to purchase more than 190,000 Rifleman and approximately 50,000 Manpack radios.
JTRS HMS Rifleman radios will enable soldiers on the battlefield to have secure, mobile voice, video and data communications capabilities that are similar to those available through commercial cellular networks.
"The Rifleman radio, enabled by the Soldier Radio Waveform, will be the first secure tactical radio to extend the network down to the individual soldier, significantly improving their safety and mission effectiveness," said Chris Brady, a vice president of General Dynamics C4 Systems. "The two-channel Manpack radio bridges Rifleman networks to both legacy and future high-level command networks so everyone in the force is on the same page."
The Rifleman radios recently demonstrated their value and utility in a March 2011 exercise conducted by the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. In a follow-up report by the units commanding officer, Maj. Gen. James L. Huggins said that the radios performed in remarkable fashion, effectively filling critical communications gaps that are unmet by current tactical communication systems. These gap-filling capabilities include secure voice and data communications, improved command-and-control and non-line-of-sight communications at the battalion level and below; and improved situational awareness for dismounted soldiers.
The initial 100 Manpack radios will be used for further operational testing to support full-rate production.
For the LRIP order, General Dynamics and Thales Communications will manufacture the Rifleman radios while General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins will build the Manpack radios.
When the radios are approved for full rate production, the JTRS Acquisition Strategy states that at least two qualified vendors will compete for production. As designed, the JTRS HMS System Design and Development and Low Rate Initial Production contract efforts will yield two qualified vendors for each radio type.
General Dynamics C4 Systems is prime contractor for the JTRS HMS program. The JTRS HMS team includes BAE Systems (Wayne, N.J.), Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Thales Communications (Clarksburg, Md.).
Information about General Dynamics is available at www.generaldynamics.com.