Officials of the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency's Land and Maritime segment in Columbus, Ohio, announced $10.3 million sole-source contract to Thales last week for spares and equipment that supports the AN/PRC-148 radio.
The AN/PRC-148 Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Enhanced Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR), or JEM, is an evolution of the combat-proven AN/PRC-148 MBITR and is designed to be small, lightweight, and power efficient.
The radio covers the 30-512 MHz frequency range, complies with the Software Communications Architecture (SCA) standard, and hosts the military's most important core waveforms. The radio has programmable cryptography according to the National Security Agency's (NSA) crypto modernization program and is certified by NSA to protect the confidentiality of voice and data up through the Top Secret.
The AN/PRC-148 soldier radio supports communications in waveforms that include AM/FM, HAVEQUICK I/II, SINCGARS, SATCOM, and over-the-air cloning (OTAC). The AN/PRC-148 supports warfighters operating on foot or in military land vehicles.
Military officials say they believe the contract to Thales ultimately will be worth as much as $3.4 million per year over three years, and with all options could end up being worth as much as $29.4 million.
The equipment covered in the contract includes support items for the AN/PRC-148 radio; the AN/VRC-111 vehicle adapters to mount the AN/PRC-148 radio inside vehicles; and 20-Watt vehicle adapters.
The AN/VRC-111 consists of 20-Watt vehicle amplifiers mounted on an interface tray, which in turn installs on a standard MT-6352A/VRC SINCGARS mounting base. The 20-Watt vehicle adapter for the AN/PRC-148 provides 20 Watts of RF power amplification, and can be installed in land vehicles, as well as in aircraft and surface ships.
The vehicle adapter chassis provides interfaces for power sources, antennas, intercoms, and data devices. Its internal battery charger is for the AN/PRC-148 radio's lithium-ion battery.
The unit enables cable-free radio dismounting within two seconds, and its removable control head with liquid crystal display provides remote control of all radio functions and includes a microphone and connector for an audio accessory. The chassis has a tunable 30-512 MHz co-site filter to reduce interference between co-located units.
The spares and support equipment involved in this contract include 275 receiver-transmitter radios; 1,505 knobs; 60 vehicle adapters; 1,040 radio holsters; 155 volume channel circuit boards; 100 permanently installed loudspeakers; 1,340 microphone headsets; 1,120 electrical headsets; 1,385 electrical chassis; 46,370 antennas of different kinds; 200 RF amplifiers; 20 backplane assemblies; 200 remote-control handsets, as well as cables, battery chargers, power supplies, and software.
On this contract Thales will do the work in Maryland, and should be finished by August 2019. The contract's two one-year options could extend it through 2021.