USMC Orders Ancillaries for Secure 2-way Radios
In April 2006, “Hello, Moto” covered the US Marines’ $76 million purchase of “intergrated, intra-squad” (IISR) secure 2-way radios from Motorola. Now Motorola, Inc. in Columbia, MD has received an $8.5 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract to provide ancillary equipment for the IISR. Work will be performed in Columbia, MD and is expected to be complete by April 2010. This contract was procured as a sole source by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, SC (N65236-07-D-6306).
As National Defense Magazine’s September 2005 issue notes, the Corps realized it lacked small squad-level communications for urban operations after the invasion of Iraq. Marines liked the British Army’s “personal role radio” and bought 10,000 Selex PRRs from Britain’s war reserve. The PRR is a small transmitter-receiver similar to civilian two-way radios, which allows infantry soldiers to communicate over short distances. Meanwhile, some soldiers and Marines were buying related civilian systems like Motorola’s TalkAbout series – something that should have been anticipated after the USMC’s “Urban Warrior 98” exercise [PDF]. The Corps belatedly made procurement a priority, but wanted a longer range than the PRR’s 500 meters and more secure encryption.