In the wake of the Joint Tactical Radio System’s (JTRS) troubles, Harris Corp. is testing a company-funded communications device designed to link helicopters, unmanned aircraft and soldiers.
The so-called Harris Airborne Multi-channel Radio (HAMR) is based on the company’s Falcon III multi-band handheld radio and is production ready, says Jeff Perry, vice president of business development at Harris. HAMR is designed to operate two channels of wideband communications, capable of sending large data packets, including full-motion video craved by commanders in Afghanistan. Company officials boast that HAMR will operate at 100 times the speed of legacy narrowband systems.
In developing the radio, Perry says the company wanted it to be “like you are going down and buying a commercial model” for the Army customer, simplifying the testing and procurement process.
Legacy HAMR systems are in use by soldiers around the world, and the new HAMR system is interoperable with those legacy models.
The company is demonstrating the radio at this week’s Association of the U.S. Army symposium in Washington.