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Satnews Daily
November 3rd, 2011

Thales Communications.... DISA's JITC Joiner (SATCOM)

[SatNews] SATCOM IW can now be accessed...

Thales Communications, Inc.'s AN/PRC-148 Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Enhanced Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR), or JEM, has received Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) certification for the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications (SATCOM) Integrated Waveform (IW). Thales’s SATCOM IW capability eliminates the need for warfighters to carry their existing heavy, manpack tactical radio systems, and enables each member of the team to deploy with a fully-interoperable, beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) capability. The JITC certification allows users access to SATCOM IW on their fielded AN/PRC-148 JEMs via software upgrade, producing minimal impact on deployed radios and requiring minimal operator intervention. The IW upgrade will provide both commanders and users with increased voice quality, higher data throughput, improved user HMI, and increased command and control capability on the battlefield, all in a smaller, lighter package.

The UHF SATCOM systems provide the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and other U.S. Government agencies with BLOS communications for tactical operations. UHF SATCOM enables users to operate globally on-the-move and under both severe weather conditions and cluttered ground cover. As the demand for SATCOM has increased in current operations around the world, SATCOM IW (MIL-STD-188-181C, 188-182B, and 188-183B) offers a significant increase in capacity over legacy Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA) SATCOM. SATCOM IW, developed by the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), doubles UHF SATCOM capacity of existing communications services employing Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) methods. The use of Mixed Excitation Linear Predictive (MELP) voice encoding improves overall voice quality. Additionally, SATCOM IW is faster and easier to set up through a more intuitive human-machine interface (HMI).

The AN/PRC-148 JEM, an evolution of the battle-proven AN/PRC-148 MBITR, is the smallest, lightest, and most power-efficient tactical handheld radio in use today covering the 30-512 MHz frequency range. It has a Software Communications Architecture-compliant platform that hosts all of today’s core waveforms and enables the integration of program enhancements, additional modes, and future waveforms. Like SATCOM IW, these other advanced features are easily available via software upgrades. For the more than 120,000 AN/PRC-148 MBITRs deployed, there is an upgrade program available to enable customers to protect their hardware platform investment and get access to the AN/PRC-148 JEM features.