Less Ambitious Goals Ahead for JTRS?

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The August 2005 issue of National Defense Magazine reports that the Pentagon’s $20 billion JTRS program to develop a family of digital combat radios is expected to see substantial changes in scope and technical requirements. The focus of the program would reportedly shift from replacing current radios to developing advanced networking technology that could be applied to existing devices. JTRS, conceived in the late 1990s, was intended to eventually supplant more than 750,000 radios in the current US military inventory. Unlike conventional radios, JTRS devices are programmable and designed to operate a variety of radio “waveforms.” Key struggles for the program have included… * The close ties between JTRS and the Army’s largest ever procurement effort, the Future Combat Systems (FCS). This complicated JTRS technical efforts by demanding more advanced networking features and increased bandwidth. It also created political complications when JTRS Clusters 1 and 5 (the Army’s clusters) fell behind, and the Army moved to prevent the $120+ billion FCS program from being compromised. * Compatibility with legacy radios remains one of the toughest challenges. JTRS originally was intended to sync up incompatible legacy radios by converting the signal in a process known as “cross-banding.” That requirement had to […]

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