Harris Corporation has recently endured a difficult period in the stock market. Despite a strong outlook for the tactical radio market, and a competitive international position vis-a-vis key rivals like General Dynamics C4 and Thales Group, there were persistent rumors that the firm was up for sale. EADS openly said that its recent PlantCML acquisition required its full attention, but General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman were also mentioned frequently. In the end, there was no acquisition and the firm’s stock price dropped swiftly to pre-rumor levels. Bloomberg | Forbes | Reuters.
This leaves the firm back on familiar ground: execution in the international tactical radio market. Harris was recently awarded $118 million in delivery orders to supply the U.S. Marine Corps with Falcon II AN/PRC-117F multiband manpack radios, as part of a new $350 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract that will almost double the number used by the USMC. As part of the contract, Harris will also provide 3 dedicated technical service personnel who will be embedded with Marine maintenance companies. Harris release.
The Marine Corps’ situation is similar to many other global militaries, as their Strategic Radio Plan works to move their troops from existing single-band radios to multiband, multimission software-defined radios with longer range, less weight, long-term upgradeability, and better interoperability. As one Marine explained, re: the PRC-117s deployed in Kuwait and Iraq, their uses included:
“…monitoring our IntraSquad Radios (ISR) using the CTCSS bands… SINCGARs to communicate in vehicle convoys, HAVEQUICK to talk to aircraft, single channel LOS VHF/UHF frequencies to talk to aircraft and ground stations, as well as both DAMA and Dedicated SATCOM.”