New Radios Respond to Emerging Security/Military Cooperation
Harris Corp has unveiled two new tactical radios and a battlefield tablet to the international marketplace, in a bid to take advantage of two emerging trends: networking soldiers from the tactical edge up to command headquarters; and the increasing overlap between military and police work in combating organized crime and terrorism.
On the radio front, the company has rolled out its high frequency tactical radio, the Falcon III RF-7800H wideband manpack, which can transmit voice, video and data beyond line of sight; the Falcon III RF-7800M, which gives the user the ability to access video, text chat, and other forms of situational awareness using the Harris ANW waveform. Brendan O’Connell, president, international business, Harris RF Communications said that the company “wants to bring wideband to the market internationally [by] bringing the network to our customers, and giving them the capability to enable applications from higher echelons and brigade level all the way down to dismounted soldier.”
Company officials also said that the new “H” radio can move data ten times faster than other manpacks, and is 20 percent smaller and lighter than previous versions.
Dana Mehnert, the company’s president of RF Communications added that since these radios are IP devices, “you can pretty quickly put together country-wide networks, which we’ve done in several different countries” to connect soldiers at the tactical level with higher headquarters.
The RF-3590 tablet, which the company introduced at the AUSA trade show in Florida earlier this year, is now being marketed internationally. The Android device has already seen some limited operational evaluations by the U.S. Army at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico earlier this month, and is scheduled to play a larger role in the next set of brigade-sized evaluations in the fall, known as the Network Integration Evaluation, which is the Army’s premiere modernization program. The tablet weighs 2 lbs. and has a 7-inch-wide screen, designed to be viewable in all types of weather and with night-vision goggles, and is designed to interoperate with any tactical radio, and plug in to the broader network.
O’Connell said that since Harris’ radios and tablet are interoperable with one another as well as with other systems, if a customer is wants to tie together communication links between a federal police organization and a military unit, it can do so using software in the radios that allows those linkages. “We think we’re in a pretty good position because we do have a public safety business that sells land mobile radios” with this software, O’Conell said, “We’re starting to see requirements for that kind of capability pop up from a lot of customers, so we’re trying to bridge those two worlds.”