Catch These Radio Waves

Catch These Radio Waves

Steve Lesueur

This isn't your grandfather's Army radio. In fact, the Army's next-generation radio, now being developed under the Joint Tactical Radio System program, or JTRS, is really just a computer with a radio front end, according to one industry official.

The new radio will have a software communications architecture that will enable military units from all services to communicate easily with each other and share data, maps and other situational awareness tools during operations.

JTRS doesn't come cheap. The first 100,000 radios will cost an estimated $1.3 billion to $2 billion, including integration costs. Altogether, the military services are expected to purchase 260,000 JTRS radios.

The large payoff has attracted some of the biggest systems integrators in the business. Boeing Co. and Raytheon Co. are squaring off as prime contractors in the competition, and both have lined up some formidable partners. On the Boeing team are TRW Inc., Rockwell Collins Inc., BAE Systems plc and Harris Corp. Raytheon is joined by General Dynamics Corp., ITT Industries Inc. and Science Applications International Corp.

The Army released the request for proposals Oct. 26, with bids due Dec. 10. Staff Writer Joab Jackson's front-page article has the details.


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