General Dynamics C4 Systems announced April 18 that two AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios successfully completed secure radio-to-radio voice and data communications tests through the Mobile User Objective System satellite network, as part of a scheduled MUOS end-to-end system test. The PRC-155 radio is part of the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit family of radios.
Using the final version of the MUOS waveform, the two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio successfully transmitted voice and data communications to the orbiting MUOS satellite, through the MUOS ground station and back to a second PRC-155 Manpack radio. This is the first time that any military radio has communicated with the MUOS space-ground network, which will ultimately extend the reach of the soldiers’ network to even the most isolated locations.
“The PRC-155 is the only government-owned, off-the-shelf radio to demonstrate this capability. Using the same cell phone technology that powers commercial smartphones, military and government personnel can make secure ‘calls’ and exchange critical information from anywhere in the world,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems.
The PRC-155 Manpack radios also demonstrated the capability that allows soldiers to network their communications using the MUOS system, connecting them to one another wherever they are deployed, on foot, from land vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft.
The radios used during the MUOS test were among the first delivered to the Army through a contract to produce more than 3,800 PRC-155 Manpack radios.
The General Dynamics-developed, non-proprietary MUOS waveform used for the test delivers high-speed voice and data communications at 16-times greater capacity than the military’s current Ultra High Frequency satellite communications system.
The two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio also runs the essential waveforms from the Joint Tactical Networking Center library. They include the Soldier Radio Waveform, which connects dismounted soldiers to the network, and the Wideband Networking Waveform, which seamlessly transports large amounts of data and the legacy SINCGARS waveform for communication with existing radios. Using the PRC-155′s two-channel capability, soldiers operating on any of these waveforms on one channel, can interconnect with soldiers using another waveform on the second channel.