Support: April 29, 2003


British infantry in Iraq had one new piece of communications gear that American troops could only envy. The Personal Role Radio (PRR) entered service with British troops in early 2002, and first saw combat use in Afghanistan later that year. The $670 radio set allows infantry to communicate with each other up to 500 meters (or three floors inside a building). The earpiece and microphone are built to fit comfortably into the combat helmet. The radio set itself, about the size and weight of a portable cassette player, hangs off the webbing gear on the chest. Two AA batteries power the radio for 24 hours. The users have 16 channels to choose from and a form of frequency hopping is used to make it very difficult to listen in on transmissions. A small, wireless, "talk" button is affixed to the soldiers weapon so that operation of the radio is hands free. 


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