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Army Awards GD Low Rate Initial Production Contract for JTRS

by: Matthew Potter
July 19, 2011

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Editorial, Events, Federal Budget Process, General Dynamics, IT, ITT Corporation, logistics, production program, Rockwell Collins, Services, Thales | RSS 2.0

The U.S. military has been developing the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) as their new standard radio for almost twenty years now. The program has had its ups-and-downs as it struggled with the level of technology required to meet the requirements of the program. On top of that the number and variations of the radio are quite complex as it will be used in aircraft, ships, vehicles, by ground troops and also be integrated into Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The JTRS once it enters full rate production will replace the ubiquitous SINGCARS radio system used since the 1980’s.

In late June the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (JTRS HMS) Program piece approved approval to go into Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) after having a successful Milestone C decision. This means that it has completed much of its engineering and development and is considered technically mature enough to begin production. The LRIP will demonstrate that it is possible to produce the system and allow the production to ramp up to meet full rate demands.

This has been followed by an order to General Dynamics (GD) and its partners Thales Communications and Rockwell Collins (ROC) for LRIP production of two versions: the Rifleman version and the Manpack radio. The AN/PRC-154 is meant to be carried by the individual soldier and 6,250 were ordered. The 100 Manpack are larger and will support operational testing and provide two channels.

The SINGCARS program was highly successful and earned its contractors a great deal of revenue due to the large demand. ITT Corporation (ITT) received what is most likely the last production contract for the system earlier this year. It had a value of about $600 million and includes parts and engineering support for existing radios. The JTRS contractors are hoping for the same thing with their programs.

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