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Army buys 13K more Rifleman Radios

by Mike Hoffman on August 21, 2012

The Army recently awarded a $53.9 million contract to General Dymanics C4 Systems for 13,000 AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radios, a Joint Tactical Radio System designed to connect individual soldiers to the service’s network.

The Rifleman Radio is part of the JTRS Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit family of radios that is scheduled to be fielded as part of the Army’s high-tech Capability Set 13. Rifleman radio has turned out to be one of the few success stores to come out of the expensive scrap heap that was Future Combat Systems.

Soldiers raved about the range of the Rifleman Radios at the Network Integration Evaluation. The soldiers also appreciated having the capability to plug in the prototype smartphones the Army is testing into the Rifleman Radio architecture.

The contract brings the number of Rifleman Radios slated to be fielded to the Army up to 19,000, said Fran Jacques, a spokeswoman for GDC4S.

Capability Set 13 is scheduled to be fielded to infantry brigade combat teams in October with the first sets going to the 10th Mountain Division. The set features a package of network equipment and software designed to connect individual soldiers and small units to the Army’s tactical network.

The Rifleman Radio gives soldiers voice and data capabilities. It can be connected to a ruggedized smartphone so soldiers can send and receive emails, graphs and tactical maps.

“The order for more PRC-154 radios ensures the individual soldier is included in the big Army network,” said Chris Marzilli, president of GDC4S, in a recent press release. “His voice can finally be heard, his message received and his position-location reported.”

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