General Dynamics Connects Manpack Radios to SATCOM System; Chris Marzilli Comments

Chris Marzilli
Chris Marzilli

General Dynamics recently tested two of its Manpack radios through a satellite communications system as part of an end-to-end system evaluation intended to connect the radios to the system.

A PRC-155 Manpack radio sent voice and data communications to an orbiting Mobile User Objective System satellite, through an MUOS ground facility, and back to a second handheld radio, General Dynamics said Thursday.

The two-channel radios use the final version of a General Dynamics-made MUOS waveform built to transmit voice and data communications at a capacity 16 times greater than existing ultra high frequency military satellites, according to the company.

Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics’ C4 systems unit, said this test represents the first time an off-the-shelf government radio communicated with the MUOS space-ground network.

Marzilli added military and government personnel make secure calls and exchange information through the MUOS waveform, which he says uses the same technology behind commercial smartphones.

PRC-155 radios are intended to run waveforms from the Joint Tactical Networking Center, such as the Soldier Radio, the Wideband Networking and SINCGARS Waveforms, the company says.

The Soldier Radio Waveform is built to connect dismounted soldiers to the network, the Wideband Networking Waveform intends to transport large amounts of data and the SINCGARS waveform aims to help soldiers communicate with existing radios.

General Dynamics holds a contract to produce more than 3,800 PRC-155 Manpack radios for the U.S. Army.

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