US SOCOM’s CER Radio Modernization Effort, 2012-2017
Radios are vital to US Special Operations Command. Their tactics depend on high levels of training and coordination, and their operations need both high-bandwidth networking and reliable communications when calling for backup. On top of that, weight and bulk are precious commodities. US SOCOM’s Capital Equipment Replacement program aims to replace legacy multiband inter/intra team (MBITR) AN/PSC-5D radios with newer, lighter, better-performing JTRS-compatible equipment. SOCOM’s 75th Ranger Regiment are conducting combat evaluations [PDF] of full JTRS Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit PRC-154 Rifleman and PRC-155 Manpack radios, but the CER buys will involve a set of proven, JTRS-compatible radios that are already widely deployed under the US CISCHR contract. Over the next 5 years, up to $790 million will go to…
April 10/12: Harris RF Communications Division in Rochester, NY received a 5-year, $400 million single-award indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity CER contract for AN/PRC-152v5/6 and AN/PRC-152Av1/2 hand-helds, and larger AN/PRC-117Gv3C radios. The PRC-117Gs equip US Army and USMC blast-resistant MRAP vehicles, and that may be SOCOM’s destination as well, but their ROVER capabilities also make them powerful assets for communicating with support aircraft. Work will be performed in “multiple locations in and outside the United States.” US Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, FL manages the contract (H92222-12-D-0001).
April 3/12: Thales Communications, Inc. in Clarksburg, MD receives a 4 1/2 year, $390 million single-award indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity CER contract for JEM MBITR (AN/PRC-148) hand-held radios. The anticipated period of performance is not to exceed four years and six months. US Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, FL manages the contract (H92222-12-D-0010).
Thales Communications is a wholly American subsidiary of Thales, and the AN/PRC-148 JEM MBITR made its bones as a SOCOM developmental success.