The AN/PRC-148 MBITR is the hand-held radio for USSOCOM, the most widely fielded multi-band portable radio in the US armed services, and is also in use by many NATO Special Forces. Special Operations Technology has described the 31-ounce PRC-148 multiband inter/intra team radio (MBITR) as “one of the many communications marvels that made the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq possible” thanks to its small size, software-based structure, and virtually complete interoperability with other military radios and commercial systems. With lithium ion batteries, the user can reportedly expect about 8-10 hours of life. In addition, they note, “More than one Pentagon official has singled out the MBITR for praise during recent operations in Afghanistan.”
Now Thales Communications has received a $43 million order for AN/PRC-148 JTRS Enhanced MBITR, or JEM radios. They may represent the first radios to be fielded for tactical use under the US military’s transformational JTRS program; it’s a close and sometimes confusing race with Harris’ AN/PRC-152(C). DID explains how the PRC-148 became so popular, and offers a glimpse into the development model that made them first out of the gate with a tactically-deployed, (partly) JTRS-compliant product…
QinetiQ Group plc announced a definitive merger agreement to acquire the American high-tech professional services firm Analex Corporation. Under the terms of the agreement, QinetiQ offers to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Analex for $3.70 per share, or an aggregate equity price of approximately $173 million paid in cash. QinetiQis a recently-privatized branch of the British government, though the government still owns about 19% of the firm. Its most high-profile US acquisition to date remains its purchase of Foster-Miller, whose TALON MTRS robots are playing a growing role in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tadiran Communications received an $20.5 million value contract modification from Israel’s Ministry of Defense for more next-generation software-definable radio communications systems. This is an add-on to a similar $19.6 million order the company received on December 2005. The company release describes the radios as “providing high-speed simultaneous voice and data communications capabilities and supporting multiple advanced communications protocols,” and referred to the contract in terms such as “great strategic importance for Tadiran Communications, and we continue to see it as the company’s flagship project for the coming decade…”