The Harris Falcon III RF-300H wideband high-frequency (HF) manpack radio offers an improvement over the existing AN/PRC-150, providing the ability to send voice, maps, and other large data files up to 10 times faster.
The new radio was developed in response to the requirement for additional crypto-modernisation that the US armed forces were seeking as they modernised radios to meet new threats, Marcelo De Risio, Harris product manager for development of the RF-300H, told Jane's on 21 February.
"After the lessons learned [from the Falcon III RF-7800H-MP Wideband HF/VHF Tactical Radio System] that we introduced in 2012 we began developing the next generation Type 1 HF manpack," he said.
Besides delivering data faster, the addition of the crypto modernisation systems in the RF-300H will make the radio the only Type 1 wideband HF manpack available, De Risio noted.
The AN/PRC-150 sends data at up to 9,600 bps. The RF-300H can send data at a rate of 120 kbps.
"The RF-300H can handle US Type 1 top secret and below traffic [voice and data] and can interoperate with international forces either using the Citadel [encryption] mode or also using AES [advanced encryption standard]. So, we provide that flexibility based on the type of operation the warfighter might find himself trying to communicate in," he said.
Additionally, HF is the only way to provide medium- to long-haul communications, and command and control, in situations where satellite communications (satcoms) are denied, De Risio added. That was another reason the US military was interested in HF communications.
Harris attempted to bring the size of its latest radio down to that of the AN/PRC-117G, but there were some physical constraints that prevented that, De Risio said.
However, the RF-300H is 20% lighter and 20% smaller than the AN/PRC-150. The AN/PRC-150 weighs 4.7 kg and the RF-300H weighs 3.9 kg.
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