US Army seeking simultaneous transmit and receive tactical radios

The U.S. Army is seeking proposals from industry to develop a new software-defined tactical radio capable of transmitting and receiving voice and data simultaneously in “congested, contested and restricted environments,” according to the solicitation for service.

The Agency Broad Notice (BAA), published by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Service Directorate on January 27, 2021, is intended to generate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions for the Army’s co-frequency simultaneous transmission and reception ( SF-STAR) ) software defined radio (SDR). The radio systems, as envisioned, will be able to “operate on the same frequency while transmitting and receiving voice and data from external sources, and capable of network operations in congested, contested and restricted environments,” the BAA states.

The SF-STAR capabilities sought by service leaders will not replace the Army’s current inventory of SDR platforms with adjacent channel suppression capabilities, but rather provide an alternative to an SDR system that can suppress the “inner channel [and] interference by an external enemy while simultaneously operating SF-STAR,” according to the BAA. The proposed SF-STAR-compatible SDR system will also be effective at “suppressing friendly interference, whether co-located on the same platform or in the general presence of other potential jamming sources while running SF-STAR,” he adds.

BAA’s Jan. 27 filing comes a month after officials from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) issued their own solicitation for industry, seeking support for the development of advanced software-defined radios, digital receivers and antennas for secure data transmission during expeditionary operations.

A US Army radio operator works on high frequency radio AN/PRC 1510 at Fort Gordon, Georgia.  (Credit: US Army)

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