Procurement: Take The Slow Modem To The Battlefield


June 23, 2009: The U.S. Army has purchased another 58,000 SINCGARS radios (model RT-1523). Since its introduction in 25 years ago, the U.S. armed forces have purchased nearly half a million SINCGARS radios. The RT-1423 weighs 7.7 pounds and is 3.4x5.3x10.2 inches (8.7x13.4x25.8cm) in size. The current model can set up a battlefield Internet, so that data (at 9600 bps), as well as voice can be used. The radio also has a GPS installed. Range is up to 35 kilometers, and the radio averages 5,000 hours of use before a breakdown.

In the next few years, the new JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) radios will be introduced. These are compatible with SINCGARS, and will eventually replace it. JTRS is more flexible, and provides higher speed Internet capabilities. Currently, each RT-1523 costs about $6,300, and JTRS will cost more than three times as much.


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