The U.S. Marine Corps is looking to implement smaller handheld and man-packable multichannel radio systems with boosted situational awareness. The service branch said Tuesday that its new AN/PRC-158 radios would allow for simultaneous monitoring between two networks and accelerate the execution of operations. The new man-packable, multichannel radio is designed to cover a wider frequency spectrum than the previous AN/PRC-117G single-channel unit.
“By being able to leverage different parts of the RF spectrum simultaneously—whether we’re in a permissive environment or not—we’ll enhance connectivity in difficult environments, increase survivability and provide a level of network interoperability not previously available," said Capt. Shawn Avery, project officer for multichannel radio family of systems at Marine Corps Systems Command.
The new radio also weighs the same as its predecessor while handling more channels, he added. The man-packable radio, as well as the handheld version, would also allow for integration with military vehicles. USMC expects to decide on the radio's procurement in 2020 with operational fielding scheduled for before 2021.