US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded L3Harris Technologies an initial $86 million (€78 million) full-rate production order for AN/PRC-163 FALCON IV two-channel handheld tactical radios for special force (SOF) operators.

The order is part of a $390 million contract awarded by USSOCOM in 2015 under the Next Generation Tactical Communications (NGTC) programme, to deliver an advanced two-channel radio for SOF operators. The command also awarded the company an NGTC contract to deliver multichannel next-generation manpack radios. The NGTC handheld and manpack radios form the backbone of a complete ecosystem of SOF-focused solutions that L3Harris is providing to USSOCOM.

The AN/PRC-163 is a powerful, multi-channel, software-defined radio (SDR) system that enables advanced tactical communications and meets USSOCOM’s rigorous requirements for a small, two-channel, multiband, multifunction and multi-mission tactical radio. Its familiar yet enhanced interface is easy to use and the flexible software-defined architecture enables users to quickly add new waveforms and capabilities, while mission modules allow the addition of tailored applications for specific missions, like receiving intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) full-motion video.

L3Harris FALCON IV NGTC programme radios are integrated network systems that can simultaneously communicate over multiple channels and crossband between those channels. They are capable of satellite communications, VHF/UHF/L/S-band and multiple mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET) waveforms, including ANW2 and TSM-X.

L3Harris has invested heavily in our FALCON IV multi-channel software defined radios and is delivering advanced technology with game-changing capabilities to our USSOCOM customer,” said Dana Mehnert, President, Communication Systems at L3Harris. "This full-rate production order is a major milestone in our contract with USSOCOM to provide solutions that achieve their vision.”

The FALCON IV will bring advanced communications capabilities to US special forces operators. (Photo: L3Harris Technologies)

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