L3Harris Technologies showcased new capabilities in its tactical communications product line at DSEI 2019 in London in September, including a new generation of its Falcon range of radios: Falcon IV.
Brian Wenink, L3Harris Technologies director of product management, told Jane’s that the latest versions of the AN/PRC-158 manpack and AN/PRC-163 handheld radios were the first two products in the Falcon IV range. They are multi-channel with cross-banding and have access to a library of waveforms. A mission module interface allows for integrating additional capabilities such as real-time video or Iridium Satellite communications.
Wenink said the key difference from the previous generation is the underlying software architecture, particularly the L3Harris Denali Type 1 cryptographic architecture, successor to the Sierra II. This provides software-defined and programmable cryptography that can be updated with no hardware replacement. He said that together with an improved baseband solution, the new radios offer higher data rates as well.
L3Harris also revealed a new common power amplifier, the RF410. This will provide 50W output across the 30-2,600 MHz frequency range and covers all the Falcon IV range. It has an autonomous mode that enables it to be used with radios from other manufacturers by detecting the frequency and then tuning itself to amplify the signal. It also has a control mode for using advanced waveforms such as frequency hopping.
Wenink said that L3Harris was adopting a more modular approach to platform installations and therefore the RF410 can be installed on a vehicle separately to the radio, therefore avoiding concentrating all the weight and heat in one place. It can be bolted directly to the vehicle without the need for a shock mount.
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