Support: November 3, 2002

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The American armed forces are equipped with over 700,000 two-way radios. Because not all of these radios operate on the same frequencies (that is, they can't talk to each other), it's not unusual to see a commander's or scout's vehicle with five different radios in it. In the next ten years, a new generation of radios are appearing that are lighter, more rugged (as in really, really waterproof) and cover more frequencies. Moreover, there is a trend to equip each infantryman with a radio. This is often a matter of life and death, where shouting out orders or information can disclose a soldiers location to a nearby, but unseen, enemy. These new JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) will work with radios from all services, especially the relatively new 200,000 SINCGARS radios the army has. The SINCGARS can frequency hop with each other (to defeat enemy jamming) and encrypt it's broadcasts (so the enemy cannot listen in.) JTRS will also provide the capability to establish wireless battlefield networks and transmit data as well as voice messages. Some JTRS will be equipped with color displays so that maps, and other images, can be transmitted.

 


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