L3Harris Technologies [LHX] is to deliver its Falcon IV handheld radios for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to enable its airmen to connect with the Air Force Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), the company said.
The radios will incorporate next generation waveforms, improve resiliency of tactical edge networks, and provide secure ground-air communications interoperability for close air support, per L3Harris.
Such radios are to equip Tactical Air Control Party airmen for the Joint Terminal Attack Controller mission.
The company received $42 million for the radios, $10 million under a contract last year with the Naval Information Warfare System Command Portable Radio Program in support of the Air Force.
The Air Force’s fiscal 2022 budget requests $204 million for ABMS—an increase of $46 million over the fiscal 2021 enacted amount. ABMS is the Air Force’s component of the Pentagon’s Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, the military internet of things, which is to accelerate decision making.
Last week, DoD said that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had approved the Pentagon’s JADC2 strategy (Defense Daily, June 4).
L3Harris said that “the Air Force Special Warfare program office is leveraging the Falcon IV radio family and C4I-intercom equipment to deliver secure communications in support of Global Access, Precision Strike, and Personnel Recovery mission areas.”
“The AN/PRC-163 and AN/PRC-167 are multi-channel, software-defined radios that utilize NSA-certified Type-1 encryption, enabling reduced SWaP [size, weight, and power], multi-band and multi-mission communications. The radio’s familiar, yet enhanced interface is easy-to-use, and the flexible software-defined architecture enables users to quickly add new waveforms. The radios provide a resilient communications platform for combined joint all-domain command and control (CJADC2) for voice and data networking connectivity with U.S. Army and other armed forces.”
Dana Mehnert, the president of communication systems for L3Harris, said in a statement that the “AN/PRC-163 and AN/PRC-167 provide maximum flexibility within the CJADC2 construct.”
Last month, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. said that the Air Force would begin fielding ABMS. The service has tapped Brig. Gen. Jeffery Valenzia to lead the requirements and warfighter integration effort for ABMS.