AN/PRC-148

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MBITR Radio

The AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR) is the most widely fielded handheld multiband, tactical software-defined radio, in use with NATO forces around the world.[1][2] The radio is built by Thales Communications, a subsidiary of the Thales Group.[3] The designation AN/PRC translates to Army/Navy Portable Radio used for two way Communications, according to Joint Electronics Type Designation System guidelines.

The MBITR was developed by USSOCOM and Thales Communications in the 1990s and went into production in 2000, to address the need for a secure multiband handheld radio.[4] As the US Army realized the benefits of the system it began wider deployment with Stryker Combat Teams and then with troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. As of August 2007, 100,000 MBITRs have been fielded,[5] over 31,000 of which are in use by the US Army.[6]

Variants[edit]

AN/PRC-148 JTRS Enhanced MBITR (JEM)[edit]

JTRS Seal small.jpg

The standard AN/PRC-148 MBITR can be seamlessly upgraded to the AN/PRC-148 V3/V4 JEM, which is the first radio to be JTRS Software Communications Architecture 2.2 compliant. The radio is upgraded by replacing the front panel and COMSEC control hardware assemblies. The radio is in production and has been fielded with USSOCOM.[7]

AN/PRC-6809 MBITR Clear[edit]

The AN/PRC-6809 MBITR Clear is a variant of the MBITR, made available without encryption. While the PRC-148 includes US Type 1 capabilities in all versions, the PRC-6809 uses Level III DES, making it available to police, firefighters, and militaries unable to obtain ITAR approval.[4]

Features[edit]

Screen of MBITR
  • Seamless upgrade to AN/PRC-148 JTRS Enhanced MBITR (JEM)[2]
  • AM/FM[2]
  • Voice/Data[2]
  • HAVEQUICK I/II, SINCGARS ESIP Single Channel and Frequency Hopping, ANDVT[2]
  • Analog Narrowband Capable (12.5 kHz)[2]
  • 2 and 20 Meter Immersible Variants[2]
  • CTCSS Tones[2]
  • Retransmission Between Handheld Radios (with special purpose filters and cable)[2]
  • JITC Tested[2]

Interoperability[edit]

Soldier talks on MBITR radio

The MBITR can communicate with the following devices:


Technical Characteristics
Frequency Range: 30 to 512 MHz, 5 and 6.25 kHz step size[2]
Data Rate: AM/FM Synchronous: 12/16 kbit/s
AM/FM Asynchronous: Below 4800 Baud
SINCGARS SDM: 16 kbit/s, 4800 baud, 2400 baud, 1200 baud and 600 baud
SINCGARS EDM: 9600 baud, 4800 baud, 2400 baud and 1200 baud
ANDVT Data: 2400 baud[2]
Power Output: .1 to 5.0 W[2]
Type of Service: Portable handheld radio[2]
Weight: 30.6 ounces (867.5 grams)[2]
Encryption: NSA Endorsed Type 1
Triple DES[2]

Replacement[edit]

While the JEM has passed government certification, it is an evolutionary platform, and not fully compatible with all specifications of JTRS. The fully compatible system is the JTRS HMS, (Handheld, Manpack and Small form-fit) being developed by General Dynamics, and expected to be introduced in 2010. Thales Communications, BAE Systems, and Rockwell Collins are all prime subcontractors. The HMS is expected to be an integral part in the US Army's Future Combat Systems program.[4]

Competition[edit]

The MBITR's primary competition comes from Harris Corporation's AN/PRC-152 software defined radio, which has also received SCA and NSA certification.[8]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]