Army Buys New Radios for Deploying Units

The U.S. Army recently awarded General Dynamics C4 Systems and Rockwell Collins with a $306 million contract for 3,726 Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios.  The two-channel PRC-155 radios, along with vehicle integration kits and related accessories, are part of the Army’s Capability Set 13 networking and communications gear deploying with brigade combat teams next year.

“With the game-changing PRC-155 networking radio, soldiers can be confident they will have access to lifesaving voice and data communications,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems, in a recent GD press release.  “The AN/PRC-155 Manpack is the most rigorously tested radio in the Army’s arsenal.  This order, along with the 19,000 AN/PRC-154 Rifleman radios already under contract, moves the Army one step closer to achieving its brigade modernization strategy.”

The two-channel PRC-155, part of the Joint Tactical Radio System, completes the Army’s tactical network by connecting upper to lower tiers, legacy to future waveforms and terrestrial to over-the-horizon links, said Chris Brady, vice president of Assured Communications for General Dynamics C4 Systems.

PRC-155s weigh 14 pounds with battery and can be mounted in a vehicle or carried in a pack.

It has also been certified by the National Security Agency to communicate classified voice and data at the Top Secret level and below.  The certification makes the radio the only secure, two-channel networking radio to communicate data across the entire force structure between battalion headquarters and soldiers on foot and in vehicles.

 General Dynamics began production of these radios in anticipation of this new production order and started deliveries to the Army in November.

The Army first purchased 100 AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios from General Dynamics in July 2011.  The two-channel Manpack radio provides line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight, high-bandwidth waveforms for on-the-move voice, sensor, data and position-location capabilities on soldiers or in vehicles.  The Manpack radio is the first tactical radio capable of supporting all three of the Army’s non-proprietary networking waveforms and is engineered to easily port additional waveforms as they become available.

About the Author

Matt Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at He can be reached at
  • jonathan

    $82,000 per radio.

    • Splitpi

      It is an LRIP production run. I would expect cost to decrease during full rate production

    • tmb2

      If this is going to be THE tactical radio we’re going to stick with for the next decade, we’re going to buy 100,000 of them.

    • looklook

      my tom tom and gramin works great with less glitches and cost $400.00 and free updates with better maps and weighs less the 3 lbs way to update the military.

    • T Bone
  • blight_

    “completes the Army’s tactical network by connecting upper to lower tiers, legacy to future waveforms and terrestrial to over-the-horizon links”

    Upper Tier to Lower Tier: “Corporal, this is the White House…”

    Legacy-to-Future: “After using the time machine, we know the future direction of communications systems and standards…”

    Terrestrial to Over-the-Horizon: “This is radio, microwave and satellite ready”

    Sigh, buzzwords.


    Planned: HF, IW, VHF/UHF LOS, AM/FM,

  • ltfunk4

    Of course the taliban are winning the war using cheap commercial motorola handhelds.

  • BlackOwl18E

    Forget radios! Why hasn’t Defensetech covered what’s going on with the F-35 vs F/A-18E/F debate between the Pentagon and the Senate?

    From the outside looking in it looks like there is a new MYP IV contract for F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the defense bill that the Senate is passing. Either it’s a contract for a lot more Super Hornets or it’s funding for the Super Hornet upgrades Boeing is offering or a combination of both. Whatever it is the Pentagon has said they want it removed from the budget. It appears that someone wants to kill off the F-35’s competition. The day after that the Navy modified an existing contract to purchase an additional 15 F/A-18E Super Hornets. The Navy’s message to the Pentagon was pretty clear: “Even if you kill the new Super Hornet orders on the defense bill nothing is stopping us from modifying existing contracts to get them.”

    On the flip side, Obama wants $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade and has offered $600 billion dollars in spending cuts. The Senate representatives said that wasn’t enough and, here’s the important part, they also wouldn’t mention publicly what programs they would cut. I’m wondering if the F-35 program or certain variants of the F-35 are on their list since it would make the cuts amount to about $1 trillion on top of Obama’s offer.

    I get the feeling that there’s going to be some serious fighting going on between the White House and the Senate over the F/A-18E/F and the F-35C. When the bloodshed is over there’s a good chance only one of these fighters is going to be on the defense bill when it gets passed. As always, my money is on the Super Hornet.

    • FormerDirtDart

      They cover budget/procurement over at DoddBuzz

      • BlackOwl18E

        DoDBuzz, isn’t covering it well either.

        • William_C1

          Speaking of DoDBuzz, do you know why that site is eating ALL of my comments? Itfunk’s spam makes it through the system, and everything I post here usually shows up.

    • tee

      I told you that last week if you remember. here is the link to down load the report by CSBA. , go to link & click on Download for PDF

    • Mark

      Looks like Canada is going to ax the F-35. Care to comment?

    • edree

      To forget radios is to forget the LIVES of soldiers on the ground – YOU IDIOT!

    • David

      because you poor little Super Hornet is leaving production in 2016, and the F-35 will supplement it no matter how hard you try. Also, most of the sources you use are complete bullsh*t. Any number of think tanks have said similar things over the years, including that “Tanks are completely useless and should be replaced by wheeled systems ASAP.”

  • Lance

    Yawn……. the Army said they where going to do this for a few years.

  • somfphite

    Where are these radios being produced and can I get a job there?

  • tomatojuice

    As a retired commo guy, it seems like they dumb down the face plate to make it easier for some people to use. The AN/PRC-150 seemed like one of the harder radios for most soldiers to operate because of the menu most likely. I would like to actually see one and see what it can do.

  • Johnny Ranger

    14 pounds. WITH battery. Man, where were these back when I was jumping Prick77s and Sincgars…. :-(

  • Michael Zand

    I am tired of all the censorship for no apparent reason on this website.

    Everyones opinion that doesnt fit in the view of get deleted. Hasn’t got anything to do with cursing or anything like that anymore.

    I have over the years specially noticed comments that are from “non americans” getting deleted.

    This website definiteeky doesnt respect freedom of speech of any other opinion besides one that fits the right wing side of US pilitics.

    You either respect free speech or not. How do you want it?

  • ranchhand

    Well, we all suspected this was coming, but they should have gone with the PRC 117G. This is kind of a step backwards for integration with SOF.

  • Alex

    Let’s just hope that they don’t lose one of this that is unlocked in the middle of an operation.

  • ka5s

    I enlisted in early 1962 and was not much later operating point to point multichannel systems and the ocassional “3 through 8” FM and GRC-26. VRC-12’s were not even fielded. When I retired in 1983, our Signal Bde used a PDP-11 that occupied two semi’s to run the terrain data base and voice and data digital comms were programmed with punched tape.

    THIS was once Science Fiction — and the SF writers didn’t have enough imagination.

    In the past few years, I’ve done engineering on newer equipment, mainly for aircraft systems. The avionics I repaired in 1965 was tuned with a speedometer cable. What a ride.

    Top Secret over the air. Amazing.

    Authenticate Whiskey Tango, Over.

    I authenticate FOXTROT!

  • Вася

    but us have R-105 radio stations!!! but your not well