World Service
Armada International Compendium |October - November 2017

Beyond North America and Europe, tactical radio centres of excellence continue to launch new products, while the market faces technological challenges in terms of software and hardware developments triggered by operational change.

Australia continues to occupy a position as a major supplier of tactical radio products. In October 2016, Codan announced that it had received certification from the US Department of Defence’s (DOD) Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) for its 2210 Envoy High Frequency (HF) radio for Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) requirements. These requirements are enshrined in the US DOD’s Military Standard MIL-STD-188-141B stipulations which cover performance and interoperability requirements for HF radios.

According to an official announcement from the JTIC, this certification also ensures that Codan’s radio can work with other HF radios already certified by the organisation. This is a particularly important consideration for US forces when operating with other nations which may be using this HF radio. For example, in recent years, Codan has supplied its radios to the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Iraqi Army. In 2009, the firm was selected by the US Army to provide HF radios to the ANA in a deal worth $5 million, which included supplies of the firm’s 2110M HF manpack transceiver. Furthermore, one month earlier, in September 2016, Codan unveiled a new High HF radio in the guise of its Sentry-H transceiver. The radio is designed to be easy to use and robust. With an output power of 150 watts, it offers channel bandwidths of 500 hertz, 2.4 kilohertz (KHz) and 2.75KHz. Regarding communications security, the company continued in its statement that the Sentry-H uses frequency hopping techniques, US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard-256) and the company’s CES-128 voice encryption standard. Meanwhile, Codan’s official literature states that the radio can handle data rates of between six to 19 kilobits-per-second (kbps) depending on the waveforms used. The waveforms employed by the radio include the US Federal Standard FED-STD-1045 HF waveform, US Military Standard MIL-STD188-141B ALE, SelCall (Selective Calling), and Codan’s proprietary HF waveforms.

Elsewhere in Australia, in August, Barrett Communications announced the release of its new Barrett 4075 High Power High Frequency transmitter. Teaming the firm’s liquid cooled amplifier with its 4050 transceiver, the company states that the radio has been designed for use as a static base station and believes the liquid-cooled solid state design of the amplifier to be the first of its kind. This translates into the 4075 transmitter being able to run continuously at high power levels. Furthermore, Barrett launched its PRC-2080+ tactical Very High Frequency (VHF) radio which it shared with Armada in a written statement, encompasses “improved transceiver specification, new antenna options for improved range and performance and new Lithium Ion batteries with increased capacity for extended field operations.” The firm is confident regarding its market sector, which it says is experiencing “growth with peacekeeping and border protection operations and cooperation between national forces becoming ever more prevalent.” Regarding technological innovation, the company shared that “there is increased desire from users for more intuitive easy to use platforms requiring less training and more flexibility in deployments,” with the firm adding that it is developing “easy to use intuitive solutions which offer the user not only a more familiar interface, but require minimal training before operational deployment.”

I ISRAEL 

Israel is a known centre of excellence for tactical radio design and production, and Israel Aerospace Industries’ ELTA Systems division unveiled this year the firm’s ARC8400 multiband radio. The firm’s official literature states that the product is designed for the carriage of voice and data traffic using conventional line-of-sight satellite communications. The radio carries analogue and frequency modulation waveforms across VHF and UHF wavebands: 30MHz to 88MHz, 108MHz to 174MHz; 225MHz to 400MHz, with an option to increase this to 512MHz plus optional 960MHz to 1220MHz and Ku-band (twelve gigahertz/GHz to 18GHz) frequency extensions, and also has protected waveforms for secure voice and data transmissions.

The literature continues that the radio can handle data rates of between 32 kilobits-per-second (kbps), up to 512kbps, and handle up to 64 networks. Other new products from the IAI ELTA Systems stable include the firm’s Tac4G tactical broadband cellular network. Incorporating a tactical smartphone capability which can handle third- and fourth-generation cellular communications, the Tac4G network is managed using either a manpack or vehicle mounted base station, the company’s literature states, with the firm adding that the product can support low intensity operations, as well as high-intensity warfare, plus special operations missions, battle management and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

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