General Dynamics' AN/PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack Radio Successfully Supports Government Testing of MUOS Network
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General Dynamics' AN/PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack Radio Successfully Supports Government Testing of MUOS Network

By CIOReview | Wednesday, January 27, 2016

FAIRFAX, Va: Over the course of a recently concluded government test of the MUOS satellite network, the General Dynamics Mission Systems’ two-channel AN/PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack radio managed to successfully provide voice and data communications with on-orbit Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites. The demonstration was pertinent of an Army conducted customer test with the AN/PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack radio running terrestrial waveforms—the Soldier Radio Waveform and the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System waveform, concurrently with the MUOS waveform. The demonstration, in tandem with Navy MUOS operational tests, will help decide whether the MUOS waveform is ready for operational use across the services.

The Lockheed Martin-built MUOS satellite communications network is a new global communications network that offers secure, smartphone-like voice clarity and robust data communications for U.S. Department of Defense and government personnel. The AN/PRC-155 Manpack radio is currently used by the U.S. Army and serves as a communications hub connecting Army personnel to the Warfighter Information Network–Tactical (WIN-T) and other local and wide area military communication networks.

“As part of the Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Fit (HMS) family, the PRC-155 Manpack is the only Army-fielded radio available to the U.S. today,” said Mike DiBiase, VP and GM of General Dynamics Mission Systems. “These radios connect the new MUOS network, and bridge lower-tier tactical networks like the soldier radio waveform and SINCGARS radios to the big Army network, reaching back to army personnel stranded in the most austere locations.”

The General Dynamics PRC-155 MUOS-Manpack radio is packaged with a high-power amplifier that provides the radio-signal strength needed to reach the MUOS satellites that revolve in geo-synchronous orbit above the Earth’s equator. Utilizing both channels, the PRC-155 acts as the bridge that connects different radios and waveforms used by soldiers across a mission area. As soon as the PRC-155 MUOS Manpack receives a call from a tactical radio on one channel, it routes and retransmits the call using the second channel, sending the call to a satellite communications network, like MUOS or other tactical communications network.

Presently, there are 5,326 PRC-155 Manpack radios fielded by the Army to provide secure line-of-sight and satellite communications connectivity for Army personnel deployed in places where other communication networks remain unavailable or inaccessible.