AN/PRC-77 Portable Transceiver

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AN/PRC 77 radio and handset
Soldier using a PRC-77 (top) with the KY-38 "Manpack," part of the NESTOR voice encryption system that was used during the Vietnam War.
U.S. Marine carrying a PRC-77 during a training exercise in 1989

AN/PRC 77 Radio Set is a manpack, portable VHF FM combat-net radio transceiver manufactured by Associated Industries[1] and used to provide short-range, two-way radiotelephone voice communication.[2] In the Joint Electronics Type Designation System (JETDS), AN/PRC translates to "Army/Navy, Portable, Radio, Communication."


The AN/PRC-77 entered service in 1968 during the Vietnam War as an upgrade to the earlier AN/PRC-25. It differs from its predecessor mainly in that its final power amplifier stage is made up of solid state components and not vacuum tubes like the PRC-25. Also the PRC-77 has the ability to use voice encryption devices, while the PRC-25 could not. These include the TSEC/KY-38 NESTOR equipment used in Vietnam and the later KY-57 VINSON family. Problems were encountered in Vietnam with the combination as described in the NESTOR article.

Today the AN/PRC-77 has largely been replaced by SINCGARS radios, but it is still capable of inter-operating with most VHF FM radios used by U.S. and allied ground forces.[3] It was commonly nicknamed the "prick-77" by U.S. military forces.[4]

Technical details[edit]

The AN/PRC 77 consists of the RT-841 transceiver and minor components. It can provide secure voice (X-mode) transmission with the TSEC/KY-57 VINSON voice encryption device, but is not compatible with the SINCGARS frequency hopping mode.[3] During the Vietnam War, the PRC-77 used the earlier TSEC/KY-38 NESTOR voice encryption system.

Major components:

  • Transmitter/Receiver unit
  • Battery

Minor components - CES (Complete Equipment Schedule):

  • 3 ft antenna - 'bush/battle whip'
  • 10 ft antenna
  • 3 ft antenna base - 'gooseneck'
  • 10 ft antenna base
  • Handset
  • Harness

Technical characteristics[5]
Channels: 920 channels across two bands using 50 kHz steps
Frequency Ranges: 30.00 to 52.95 MHz (Low Channel);
53.00 to 75.95 MHz (High Channel)
Estimated Range: 8 km (5 mi) Dependent on conditions
Power Output: 1.5 to 2.0 watts
Power Source: Current (2015) military batteries:
BA-5598/U LiSO2 nonrechargeable
BB-386/U NiMH and BB-2598/U Li-ion rechargeable

Obsolete (unavailable) nonrechargeable military batteries:
BA-386/PRC-25 zinc-carbon, BA-398/PRC-25 zinc-carbon cold weather vest (use w/cable to radio battery connector), BA-4386/PRC-25 magnesium

Discontinued but available military or equivalent batteries:
BA-3386/U alkaline nonrechargeable
BB-586/U NiCad and BB-LA6 SLA rechargeable
Antenna: AT-271A/PRC 10 ft (3.0 m) multi-section whip "Static" Whip-a-way, or
AT-892/PRL-24 3 ft semi-rigid steel tape "Bush-whip",
Type of Service: 30K0F3E (FM)
Manpack field radio
land mobile service
Weight: 13.75 lb (6.2 kg)
Security Could be used with TSEC/KY-38 NESTOR and, later, the KY-57 VINSON secure voice systems.
Note: A modified version of the AN/PRC-77 is available and is designated
AN/PRC-1177. This version has been enhanced to allow a smaller
channel step of 25 kHz and to reduce voice bandwidth to 6 kHz. These
features combine to double the number of available channels to 1840.


Control Panel of a PRC-77
  •  Austria: The Austrian Army still uses the AN/PRC-77, though it seems as if it is only used for training cadets in radio communications. For border patrol the Austrian Army now uses a new device called "TFF-41" (Pentacom RT-405), which is capable of frequency-hopping and digital encryption. The Austrian Army also uses the AN/PRC-1177 for example the Austrian AN/PRC-77 have a special switch for a 25 kHz mode, which reduces the bandwidth of the selected channel by 25 kHz and therefore doubles the number of available channels.
  •  Bangladesh: The Bangladesh Army use this radio as a section level communication equipment. In Chittagong Hill Tracts area the operations are still conducted with this radio.Some modified/improvised local antenna concepts often increase the communication range up to 15–20 km. Now being phased out by far superior Q-MAC's VHF-90M
  •  Brazil: In Brazil it is used by Brazilian Army It was nicknamed EB-11 RY-20/ERC-110 manufactured by Associated Industries U.S.A and manufactured by AEG Telefunken do Brasil S/A, São Paulo 1970 the radio is used today but is now being replaced but still the PRC-77 remains stored in military units also used for training of technicians in military communications sergeants communications.
  •  Chile: The Telecomm Regiments in the Chilean Army still using the PRC - 77. (In process of modernization).
  •  Finland: The Finnish army uses this radio as a "battalion radio", using it as a common training device. The radio is designated LV 217 'Ventti-seiska' ('ventti' is Finnish slang for '21', from the Finnish variant of blackjack).
  •  Israel: The Israel Defense Forces used this radio extensively from the early 1970s to the late 1990s, when it was gradually replaced by modern digital devices. However, it can still be found in some units, mostly in stationary temporary posts.
  •  Norway: The AN/PRC-77 has been replaced, as a main source of radio communication for regular forces of the Norwegian Army by indigenously developed radio sets called MRR (Multi Role Radio) and LFR (Lett Flerbruks Radio) (Norwegian for Light Multi Role Radio), and a number of other modern radios. However the Norwegian Army did not throw these radio sets away. Instead many of them were handed over to the Home Guard which now uses it as their backup radio in most of their troops as there is only a limited supply of MRR sets for their 43 000 soldiers.
  •  Pakistan: The Pakistani Army has also used the set for the past 25+ years. Purchased from different sources including the US, Brazil and Spain, it is scheduled to be replaced in the next 5 years.
  •  Spain: The Spanish Army, Spanish Navy (Armada Española), Spanish Marines and Spanish Air Force has also used formerly AN/PRC-77. Replaced by the french PR4G since 2002
  •  Sweden: In the Swedish Army the radio system goes under the name Radio 145 and Radio 146 (Ra145/146), predominantly the Homeguard (National Guard) is issued the Ra145/146.

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1], Manufacturer's website.
  2. ^ Mark Francis, KI0PF (2005). Mil Spec radio gear - Korean War to present day. Hicksville, NY: CW Communications, Inc. pp. 171–176. ISBN 0-943016-33-9.
  3. ^ a b AN/PRC-25 and AN/PRC-77,
  4. ^ Paul Dickson (2011). War Slang: American Fighting Words & Phrases Since the Civil War. Dover Publications. pp. 425–. ISBN 978-0-486-47750-3.
  5. ^ [2], Manufacturer Datasheet.
  6. ^ "立委:國產3武器明年量產". 國際軍武網友聯誼會. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  7. ^ "超耐用通訊77終於要退休了 ..." Mobile01. 2010-09-18. Retrieved 2018-11-17.

External links[edit]