Eurosatory 2014

Closing comms gap (ES14E3)

18 June 2014


hile tactical communications have improved considerably in the land domain in recent years, advances have yet to reach the air domain as quickly. With an increasing accent on joint-force operations between air and ground units, this has exposed something of a communications gap. With the introduction of two new radios, Harris (Hall 5, Stand B657) is aiming to change that.

Using the RF-7950A-MR and RF-7850A-UA (for unmanned platforms) radios, air and ground units can synchronise their efforts by establishing a common tactical wideband network that allows secure voice and data transmission. It also allows commanders to view multiple streams of video data from air and ground units simultaneously, while maintaining voice contact with both.

This capability was recently demonstrated in a Latin American country, with an RF-7850A system installed in a helicopter streaming video from a distance of 30km to the base camp. At the same time, a ground unit 20km distant streamed video via the network, which also carried force position data and voice communications.

Airborne communications relay is an important aspect of the Harris radio family, allowing remote forces to communicate with command centres even if they are cut off from line-of-sight communications.

(196 words)