General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, AZ received a $53.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for 81 AN/USC-61C digital modular radios (DMR), DMR 100 and 200 watt power amplifiers, and other ancillary hardware. Currently approximately 300 software-defined radios, each with four channels, have been shipped to the Navy to be installed on ships, submarines, shore sites, and test facilities. Based on DID’s research, the U.S. Navy has now spent approximately $175 million all told on DMR radios and software, including this contract.
This software-controlled and re-configurable digital radio system currently features some JTRS capabilities such as expanded frequency range, multiple software-defined waveforms, multiple independent level security, advanced software, etc. The system can be used to replace multiple existing radios with a single, easy-to-use system which communicates seamlessly with different armed services as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and NATO allies. More specifically…
DMR provides interoperability among diverse radios by operating UHF, satellite communications, AM/FM, DAMA, HaveQuick, SINCGARS, data link coverage for Link-4A and Link 11, high frequency waveforms et. al. on Navy surface and subsurface platforms. To protect data from intruders, the DMR has the Advanced INFOSEC Machine (AIM), which received Type 1 Certification from the National Security Agency in October 2004. It simultaneously operates on multiple channels using different algorithms, enabling it to potentially replace many standard encryption functions with a single device. On certain Navy platforms, it can reduce critical factors like equipment space requirements by more than 50%.
The Navy is committed to migrating DMR to JTRS Software Communication Architecture (SCA) compliance, in order to allow the use of JTRS JPO-provided waveforms and meet near-term requirements. Only July 13/05, General Dynamics and Spectrum Signal Processing (USA) Inc. introduced an upgraded wideband modem for the U.S. Navy’s AN/USC-61C Digital Modular Radio (DMR). The upgrade allows the DMR series to host new wideband Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) waveforms, in addition to the existing range of waveforms supported. The new modem capability also permits the hosting of high-speed networking waveforms over multiple channels on the DMR platform.
Given the program troubles faced by JTRS’ Clusters, DMR products appear to be positioned as the Navy’s stopgap or even fallback option.
This two-year contract does not include options. Work will be performed in Scottsdale, AZ and is expected to be complete by June 2007. This contract was not competitively procured – it was synopsized on the Commerce Business Daily’s website and the Federal Business Opportunities site, with one offer received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command San Diego, CA issued the contract (N00039-05-C-0026).
Additional Readings and Sources
* General Dynamics C4 Systems Corporate Release (July 13/05)
* ZDNet White Papers (April 2003) – Configurable, Real-Time Embedded Middleware providing the best CORBA platform for Software Defined Radio (SDR)
* National Defense (Feb. 2002) – Joint Tactical Radio Expected To Meet Special-Warfare Needs