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US Army seeking simultaneous transmit and receive tactical radios

The US Army is seeking industry proposals for the development of a new software-defined tactical radio capable of transmitting and receiving voice and data simultaneously in “congested, contested, and denied environments”, according to a service solicitation.

The broad agency announcement (BAA) issued by the service’s small business innovation research (SBIR) directorate on 27 January 2021 is designed to generate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions for the army’s Same Frequency Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (SF-STAR) software-defined radio (SDR). The radio systems, as envisioned, will be capable “of operating in the same frequency while transmitting and receiving voice and data from external sources, and capable of performing network operations in congested, contested, and denied environments”, the BAA stated.

The SF-STAR capability being sought by service leaders will not replace the army’s current inventory of SDR platforms with adjacent-channel suppression capabilities, but rather provide an SDR system alternative that can suppress “in-channel [and] external enemy interference while operating SF-STAR at the same time”, according to the BAA. The proposed SF-STAR-capable SDR system will also be effective in “suppressing friendly interference, whether co-located in the same platform, or in the general presence of other potential interfering sources while performing SF-STAR”, it added.

The 27 January BAA solicitation comes a month after officials at US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) issued their own industry solicitation, seeking support for the development of advanced software-defined radios, digital receivers, and antennas for secure data transmission during expeditionary operations.

A US Army radio operator-maintainer works on an AN/PRC 1510 high-frequency radio at Fort Gordon, Georgia.   (Credit: US Army )

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