Army awards big production contract for Rifleman infantry software-defined radio communications

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., 30 April 2015. U.S. Army radio communications experts are moving forward with mass production of the Rifleman software-defined radio for handheld use by infantry warfighters with substantial contracts Wednesday to two manufacturers.

Army awards big production contract for Rifleman infantry software-defined radio communications
Army awards big production contract for Rifleman infantry software-defined radio communications
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., 30 April 2015. U.S. Army radio communications experts are moving forward with mass production of the Rifleman software-defined radio for handheld use by infantry warfighters with substantial contracts Wednesday to two manufacturers.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., announced a potential $3.9 billion contract with options to Harris RF Communications in Rochester, N.Y., and to Thales Defense & Security Inc. in Clarksburg, Md., to produce Rifleman radios.

The two companies will compete for Rifleman radio orders over the next 10 years to provide infantry soldiers with voice, text, and imagery over handheld software-defined radios.

The Rifleman software-defined radio is more like a communications computer than a traditional handheld radio. It uses software applications called waveforms to change functionality and operating bands.

Related: Army chooses four companies to provide radios in SRW Appliqué Radio Systems program

Thales offers the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio, which delivers networked communications and situational awareness. It enables self-forming, self-healing, ad-hoc, simultaneous voice and data networks, provides software-defined capability for upgradeability and interoperability, provides low-cost Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) networking, integrates embedded encryption and GPS, and provides networked voice and data communications for foot soldiers.

The Harris Rifleman radio is the RF-330E-TR wideband team radio, which provides a long-lasting, lightweight, handheld connection to the wideband network -- including secret and below information. It provides a low-cost way for warfighters at the tactical edge to get the wideband communications capability.

The Thales AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio is a low-cost, lightweight, body-worn radio that transmits voice and data simultaneously with the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). It brings secure Type 2 squad-level communications to the soldier at the tactical edge of the battlefield network.

The radio enables team leaders at the tactical level to track individual soldier position location information, providing situational awareness. It is a core component of the Army’s soldier modernization program and has been proven in Afghanistan.

Related: Navy to buy serial adapters from Sealevel Systems for AN/PRC battlefield radio systems

The Harris RF-330E-TR radio offers share and access Type 1 secret and below, stays connected during mission while minimizing weight. Its battery life is as long as 20 hours, and it is designed to enhance situational awareness for every squad member with simultaneous voice, high-speed data, and position location information.

The Thales AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radio offers continuous transmission of position location information for situational awareness and blue-force tracking, supports hands-free display and external computer interface, has audio indicators for preset, GPS position, and battery status, participates in one voice talk call group while simultaneously monitoring other talk groups, is software programmable and upgradeable, and operates with standard USB and RS-232 devices for display use and radio control.

The Harris RF-330E-TR Rifleman radio offers dashboard display,, push-button view of battery life and network status, 30-40-second time to readiness to form or join a network and 3 minutes from cold start, and is interoperable with all Soldier Radio Waveform devices.

On this contract funding and work location will be determined with each order with an estimated completion date of April 2025. For more information contact Thales Defense & Security online at www.thalescomminc.com, Harris RF Communications at http://rf.harris.com, or the Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen at http://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-apg.

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