Procurement: May 23, 2003

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When the U.S. Army realized they might be losing more helicopters in Iraqi territory than they expected, it was suggested that crews "going deep" (into Iraqi territory) be equipped with a better CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) radios. The best one on the market (used by other American air forces) was the hand held, $9.200. AN/PRC-112G. But the radios were needed fast and the usual procurement red tape could take months. Someone remembered a loophole in procurement regulations that could be used in emergencies. If the order were sent to the GSA (Government Services Administration), they could process the order and have the hundred radios shipped with 24 hours, and they were. The AN/PRC-112G uses GPS and satellite phone technology to send a brief ("burst") transmission of the radios (and downed pilots) location via satellite. When the rescue chopper is close enough (within line-of-sight) the AN/PRC-112G provides encrypted (the enemy can't listen in) two way radio capability to get any essential information from the downed pilot before the pick up is made. The AN/PRC-112Gs batteries are good for 96 hours of use.

 


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