The US Army may authorise production of its new manpack tactical radio in 2018
Sources close to the US Army have told MONS that production of the manpack component of the force’s HMS (Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Factor) tactical radio acquisition could commence in 2018. Production had originally been expected to start this year, although an increased level of political scrutiny regarding the acquisition has now delayed the authorisation of production, the sources continued. The US Army is expected to acquire two Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency radios from Harris and Rockwell Collins respectively to satisfy this requirement, producing the AN/PRC-158 and AN/PRC-162(V)1. Moreover, the US Army is expected to commence a series of evaluations of these radios in the spring which will include laboratory and field tests. In addition, sources continued that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is considering the procurement of Rockwell Collins’ AN/PRC-162 to support an alliance mobile satellite communications requirement, although it remains unclear as to when NATO may make the decision to procure a new transceiver to this end.