General Dynamics to build and support software-defined radio (SDR) for shipboard communications and SATCOM

Feb. 12, 2024
DMR is a modular, software reprogrammable shipboard radio system with embedded cryptography that provides all radio frequency (RF) communications.

SAN DIEGO – U.S. Navy shipboard communications experts are asking General Dynamics Corp. to build and support AN/USC-61(C) maritime radios to enable Navy surface warships and submarines to communicate over high frequency (HF), ultra-high frequency (UHF) line of sight, UHF satellite communications (SATCOM), and very high frequency (VHF) radio bands.

Officials of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) in San Diego announced a $82.8 million five-year order last week to the General Dynamics Mission Systems segment in Scottsdale, Ariz., to build AN/USC-61(C) digital modular radio (DMR) systems.

The contract includes procurement, manufacturing, testing, and delivery of DMR systems, high frequency distribution amplifier group components, spare parts for both systems, and engineering services.

DMR is a modular, software reprogrammable shipboard radio system with embedded cryptography that provides all radio frequency (RF) to-baseband and baseband-to-RF conversion functions required for U.S. naval line-of-sight, beyond line-of-sight and satellite communications systems.

Related: Raytheon shipboard SATCOM system will enable onboard computers to communicate with Global Information Grid

NAVWAR awarded the order on behalf of the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication, Computers, and Intelligence (PEO C4I) in San Diego.

The AN/USC-61(C) is a maritime software-defined radio (SDR) that has become standard for the U.S. military. The compact, multi-channel DMR provides several different waveforms and multi-level information security for voice and data communications.

The radio includes NSA Type 1 encryption; embedded red/black baseband switching and routing; co-site performance; reduced manpower requirements; single point of control for HF/VHF/UHF/SATCOM radio communications; and built-in test (BIT).

Software-defined radio waveforms are computer programs that enable SDR-enable radios to operate on different frequency bands with different encryption and cyber security functions. The AN/USC-61(C) operates on Navy surface ships, submarines, and other military platforms using frequencies from 2 MHz to 2 GHz.

Related: Navy orders high-bandwidth shipboard data communications SATCOM system from L3Harris for surface warships

General Dynamics has certified the DMR to pass secure voice and data at multiple independent levels of security (MILS) over HF, VHF, UHF, and SATCOM channels, and to withstand the effects of electromagnetic interference and other harsh operating conditions.

The DMR also is certified by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) to be compliant with the U.S. government’s MIL-STD-188-181B/182A/183A requirements for UHF SATCOM. General Dynamics builds the AN/USC-61(C) using open-architecture standards.

On this order, General Dynamics will do the work in Scottsdale, Ariz., and should be finished by December 2029. For more information contact General Dynamics Mission Systems online at, or NAVWAR at

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