Rockwell Collins Releases New Airborne Radio

By Connie Lee

Photo: Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins has produced the next generation of its networked communications airborne radio, which allows users to develop their own waveforms for the system, according to a company executive.

The system — known as the AR-1500 — is derived from the ARC-210 and Talon radio technologies.

“It’s the most powerful ARC-210 we’ve developed to date,” said Trent Trpkosh, business development manager for the ARC-210/Talon communications systems. The system provides secure communications features for transferring data, voice and imagery and provides mobile ad hoc networked communications, according to Rockwell Collins.

The AR-1500 is the company’s first international radio with L band, he said, which means it operates in the frequency range of 1 to 2 GHz.

“L band is used for networking. We envision this radio being a networking radio,” he noted. The device is part of the company’s TruNet family of radios, which includes ground and handheld systems, he noted.

All devices in the family are either one or two channels, he said. “The architecture is the same. It’s a family — it’s a lot easier for waveforms to be developed and put across the air and ground.” This means the device can also network with the company’s two-channel manpack, known as the GR-2500, he said. The family of systems also includes a two-channel airborne radio, he noted.

The one-channel AR-1500 is “software defined” and allows customers to develop their own waveforms for the system, Trpkosh said.

Taiwan will be the first international customer of the device, according to a news release. Aerospace Industrial Development Co., a Taiwanese government-owned aerospace company, will build the systems in the country under a manufacturing licensing agreement.

Trpkosh predicted that Taiwan may be examining the possibility of integrating its own waveforms onto the radio. “It’s going to be a future capability that countries will start implementing,” he said.

“Not only does the AR-1500 do all the legacy waveforms … but it has the ability for a country to develop its own waveform and [import] it into the radio,” he added.

Topics: Battlefield Communications, Land Forces

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