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27 May 2016

Harris Unveils FALCON III RF-335M-STC SOF Radio

In September 2015, Harris won a $390 million contract to deliver new handheld radio for US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Delivery should start in September 2017 and go throughout 2020, it is an IDIQ-contract (indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity).

At SOFIC 2016 in Tampa, FL, Harris was showing the new radio for the first time. It will be the Next Generation Handheld for the USSOCOM future. The plan is to replace every handheld with this new product. It was developed in cooperation with TrellisWare.

Attached to this radio can be a third L3 expansion module for ISR Full Motion Video – so a Forward Air Controller/JTAC holds three radios in one very capable and small handheld (15.24x5.08x7.62 cm; 1.22kg). Trellisware is responsible for the TSM-X MANET Network. It is capable of 200+ nodes (functionally unlimited), and every radio also acts as receiver and relay, so communications is also possible in tunnels, caves, ships, etc. The whole system is self-healing and auto-configuring.

The Harris FALCON III RF-335M-STC is a multi-channel handheld radio with Mobile Ad-hoc Networking (MANET) and crossbanding capabilities. Overlapping UHF and SATCOM band availability in both channels offers flexibility for any tactical use. Radio 1 offers VHF (30-88 MHz, 118-512 MHz and UHF 225-512 MHz) as well as MUOS SATCOM, while radio 2 offers UHF (225-450 MHz) with a power output of 5 W and 10 W for SATCOM and L-Band 1300-2600 MHz. Data can be sent with 16 Mbps and Harris’ multi-channel Denali™ security architecture is used. The architecture allows up to 16 independent talk groups, the user can choose who he wants to listen to. Also for the first time ever a SAASM GPS was integrated in a handheld radio, enabled by new smaller GPS receivers. The full-duplex MUOS waveform should be available the first half of 2019.

The display of this handheld is twice as tall as previous Harris handhelds, enabling the status of both channels to be viewed at a glance. And the radio is submersible up to a depth of 20m, even with the L3 ISR module on. Thanks to a 19-pin-ADF, even a USB connection is available along with both audio channels. As a part of the contract a 50W vehicle adapter will be delivered.