Harris Corp. [HRS] has received its second low-rate production order from the Army for new two-channel handheld radios, as the program readies a move into operational testing.

The latest LRIP order, announced Thursday, is under a potential 10-year, $12.7 billion IDIQ contract Harris received last September to provide the Army with its AN/PRC-158 software-defined radio.

Harris Corp. AN/PRC-158 Multi-channel Manpack

“The Army’s new network modernization strategy and Integrated Tactical Network is designed to enable ‘fighting tonight,’ while seeking next-generation solutions to stay ahead of potential adversaries. Harris is committed to delivering the next generation of adaptable, software-defined radios that are software upgradeable to meet the Army’s evolving network requirements,” Dana Mehnert, president of Harris Communication Systems, said in a statement.

The two-channel manpack radios under the Leader Radio program are intended to provide soldiers a first-of-its-kind capability to switch between waveforms on the battlefield and improve beyond line-of-sight communications.

France’s Thales is also participating in the Leader Radio program, with each company receiving deals last year for an initial 1,500 radios (Defense Daily, Sept. 27 2018).

Harris’ IDIQ contract with the Army includes a five-year base and an additional five-year option, and could eventually cover up to 65,000 manpack radios.

“The AN/PRC-158 delivers the security, interoperability and resilience the Army needs for its tactical radio modernization program while providing unmatched capability for soldiers on the battlefield,” Mehnert said.