The latest software release for the Falcon III AN/PRC-117G multiband manpack radio system significantly broadens the radio’s network-enabled mission capabilities by introducing a new ‘Sky Mode’, for airborne applications and expanding network support to 30 individual nodes. The new capabilities were added to the Adaptive Wideband Networking Waveform (ANW2), which is currently deployed to Afghanistan in the AN/PRC-117G by various branches of the U.S. Department of Defense.
The software upgrade expands the size of a single wideband tactical radio sub-network to 30 individual nodes. This increase gives tactical commanders greater flexibility in planning and managing their missions on a single, integrated network. The availability of 30-node networks dramatically expands the area of network coverage in the field, providing greater communications range and leading to improved command and control and collaboration.
According to the company, the ANW2 30-node networking mode is ideal for voice, situational awareness, and short messaging services. For instance, commanders who have real-time information about where their personnel are located become more effective in critical situations, such as fires de-confliction – directing artillery away from friendly forces.
The novel “Sky Mode” is used for airborne applications, allowing key leaders in aircraft to exchange data, including video, with units on the ground while a mission is underway. Sky Mode provides greater range and is optimized for airborne ISR and range extension applications.
“The continued success of the AN/PRC-117G and its robust wideband networking capabilities has allowed us to make these enhancements to the ANW2 waveform,” said Brendan O’Connell, president, Department of Defense business, Harris RF Communications. “These enhancements will deliver more mission flexibility, broader collaboration and enhanced situational awareness to the tactical edge.” O’Connell said the Army is planning to deploy the AN/PRC-117G and the 30-node capabilities of ANW2 at this summer’s Network Integration Evaluation at Fort Bliss.