Harris Unveils a New Wearable Tactical Radio


A new member of the Falcon III family, the RF-300S, is positioned by Harris as a lightweight, wearable tactical radio supporting the dismounted soldier. This UHF radio (225 MHz to 470 MHz) provides wideband data transfer for situational awareness applications, in addition to narrowband voice capabilities. It is designed to establish squad-level networking based on software-defined radios with built-in GPS.

“The Falcon III RF-300S will deliver new levels of voice and high-bandwidth data connectivity to the entire squad,” said George Helm, vice president and general manager, U.S. Government Products, Harris RF Communications. “By combining P25 and the Soldier Radio Waveform, the radio offers great operational flexibility, ease of migration as standards change, and interoperability.” The new radio is designed to address the emerging requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense, such as the Rifleman Radio program. The radio also supports APCO Project 25 (P25) waveform, allowing secure interoperability with currently deployed squad radios as well as with first responders in non-military operations. Interoperability with currently deployed narrowband radios is critical to allow a smooth transition to a networked force until adequate spectrum is available to support a large number of users.

It also operates the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) and the Harris Advanced Wideband Networking Waveform (ANW2) for networked tactical communications. The new radio is secured using the Suite-B algorithms, including AES for encryption, allowing interoperability with other Suite-B enabled communication products. Properly implemented Suite-B algorithms can provide protection of information up through the classified SECRET level in a non-cryptographic controlled item (CCI) environment, eliminating the need for every soldier to have a security clearance. Harris plans to submit the RF-300S to the U.S. Government for evaluation for use in non-CCI, Secret and below applications.

At the LandWarNet exhibition Harris also demonstrated how another member of its Falcon III family of radios, the AN/PRC-117G can operate with JTRS-developed Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW), transferring wideband tactical networking. SRW will serve as the principal Department of Defense waveform for creating battlefield communication networks for individual soldiers.
At the exhibition, the radios transmitted combat net radio voice, streaming video and situational awareness data over a network using the SRW waveform. “This demonstration validates the ability of the Falcon III radios to host wideband networking waveforms developed under the JTRS program, thus providing warfighters with secure access to the network and high-bandwidth applications, such as streaming video,” said George Helm, vice president and general manager, U.S. Government Products, Harris RF Communications.

The Falcon III AN/PRC-117G, now in production and fielded by the Department of Defense, is the first radio to provide both secure wideband data and narrowband voice capability. The radio allows the mobile warfighter access to secure IP data at on-air rates up to 5 Megabits per second, dramatically improving situational awareness by supporting networked data-intensive applications. It features mobile ad-hoc networking, automated network establishment and maintenance, and integrated Type 1 security. It is based on SCA-compliant software-defined architecture, offering legacy interoperability with currently fielded radios, incorporating SINCGARS, Havequick, the High Performance Waveform (HPW), as well as Tactical Satellite (TACSAT).