Defense

October 16, 2012

Army receives go-ahead on Manpack radio production

The two-channel, software-defined Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit , or HMS Manpack will enhance current communications capabilities by allowing small units in austere environments to exchange voice and data information with their higher headquarters, without having to rely on a fixed infrastructure.

The Army has received authorization to continue production of an advanced radio that will link Soldiers at the company level and below with real-time information passed on its holistic tactical communications network.

The Department of Defense granted approval to the Army Oct. 11, to purchase 3,726 Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit, or HMS Manpack radios under a second Low Rate Initial Production, or LRIP order. Those radios will support future test events, development up to a Full Rate Production decision and potential fielding as part of Capability Set 13.

Thus far, the Army has purchased 100 of the two-channel, software-defined radios, which are designed as a “mid-tier” radio solution allowing lower-echelon soldiers carrying Rifleman Radios and Nett Warrior handheld devices to connect to the network backbone through the Soldier Radio Waveform, or SRW, and Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, SINCGARS waveforms.

“The Manpack will enhance current communications capabilities by allowing small units in austere environments to exchange voice and data information with their higher headquarters, without having to rely on a fixed infrastructure,” said Col. Russ Wygal, the Army’s project manager for tactical radios.

A Soldier uses a Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit, or HMS Rifleman Radio to communicate during the Network Integration Evaluation, NIE 12.2 in May 2012. The HMS Manpack provides a Soldier Radio Waveform-enabled “gateway” between the Rifleman Radio and the Army’s satellite communications backbone, known as the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical.

The decision was based on test results from the Network Integration Evaluation, NIE 12.2, held in May-June at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., as well as a Government Developmental Test, or GDT, conducted by the Army Test and Evaluation Command, held earlier this month at the Electronic Proving Ground at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

The Manpack completed a key operational test in May as part of the NIE 12.2, the latest in a series of semi-annual, Soldier-driven evaluations designed to integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network. The evaluation showed that the radio significantly enhanced the mobile, ad-hoc network formed through SRW, a high bandwidth waveform that draws upon a larger part of the available spectrum compared to legacy radios in order to share mission command information. With both mounted and dismounted variants, the Manpack also provided beyond-line-of-sight connectivity through satellite communications, improving units’ ability to communicate despite obstacles such as buildings and nearby terrain.

The NIE assessment also identified areas in need of improvement, such as the performance of the radio using the SINCGARS waveform and the approach to training Soldiers who are unfamiliar with software-defined networking radios. Technical and human factor issues have since been addressed, and the fixes were evaluated as part of the GDT. The test allowed the Army to collect additional data and validate improvements to the Manpack in a focused environment.

“This test is one piece of the Army’s effort to work with the vendor and the Department of Defense to evaluate issues identified during the Network Integration Evaluation 12.2 and improve the Manpack system.” Wygal said. “There is nothing like Soldier feedback to help us improve our products.”

Ultimately, the Manpack is envisioned as a piece of the Army’s network Capability Sets – an integrated communications package that spans the entire brigade combat team formation, connecting the static tactical operations center to the commander on-the-move to the dismounted Soldier. The first such package, known as Capability Set 13, began fielding to two BCTs of the 10th Mountain Division earlier this month and will continue fielding to additional brigades through 2013.

Along with the Manpack, the HMS program includes the Rifleman Radio, which will be carried by platoon, squad and team-level soldiers for voice communications. The Rifleman Radio can also connect with the smartphone-like Nett Warrior devices carried by dismounted leaders in order to transmit text messages, GPS locations and other data. The Manpack provides an SRW-enabled “gateway” between the Rifleman Radio and the Army’s satellite communications backbone, known as the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T.

“HMS radios will network small units with individual Soldiers, providing game-changing information at the lowest echelons,” Wygal said.

The Army was authorized to procure an additional 13,077 Rifleman Radios based on a July 2012 Department of Defense decision.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>