AN/PRC-68 Family of Squad Radios

The AN/PRC-68 and later members of that series are rugged, small squad radios, intended to be used over short distances for tactical communication within a military unit. It is the successor to the World War II SCR-536 / BC-611 and the AN/PRC-6. This radio is sometimes referred to as the Joint Tactical Radio System.

AN/PRC-68 Family of Squad  Radios
AN/PRC-68 Family of Squad Radios.

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AN/PRC-68 Family of Squad Radios History

The AN/PRC-68 project began in the middle 1970s as a Marine Corps effort to develop a squad radio to replace the unsatisfactory helmet-mounted AN/PRR-9 receiver and receiver/transmitter hand-held AN/PRT-4 (both developed by the Army). The AN/PRC-68 was first produced in 1976 by Magnavox, was issued to the Marines in the 1980s and it was adopted by the US Army as well.

AN/PRC-68 Family Description

The PRC-68 radio was the first of a series of tactical solid state FM sets, consisting of the PRC-68A, PRC-68B, PRC-126, PRC-128, and PRC-136 all manufactured by Magnavox.

All of the radios in the series have in common:

  • a micro-controller (except prc68) and frequency synthesizer
  • a built-in Push To Talk switch
  • a combined Speaker/Microphone
  • a ten position knob to allow selection of the operating channel
  • either of two antennas, a short antenna to restrict the range to nearby troops and a long antenna for greater range
  • a carry pouch that attaches to standard military web equipment

Characteristics of the AN/PRC-68 Family

The following table gives general characteristics for the AN/PRC-68 family. The next section discusses some of the differences between models.

Tactical Range One to three km (.62 to 1.9 mi)
Frequency Range PRC68 and 68A: 30 to 79.95 MHz, others see next section
Channel Spacing 50 kHz for PRC68, 25 kHz PRC68A or 2.5 kHz later models
Channel Bandwidth 2 MHz wide band, 10 channels preset, synthesized
Power output 1-1.5 Watts
Secure Voice Module KYV-2 or KYV-2A
Power Requirements 15 VDC, 1 Watt minimum
Dimensions 4.5 to 6.125" H x 3.75" W x 1.5" D
Weight, with antenna and battery 2.5 lbs.

Ancillary equipment including hand sets (H-189 or H-250), test sets, vehicular mounts, antenna options, and batteries are produced for this radio family as specified in the Technical Manuals:

  • TM 11-5820-882-10: Operator's Manual
  • TM 11-5820-882-23: Organizational and Depot Maintenance Manual

Differences Between Models in the AN/PRC-68 Family

This table lists the main models of the AN/PRC-68 family of squad radios. Other models have been produced for experimental or short production purposes.

PRC-68 Requires FSM to tune for antenna. Internal switch channel prog. No freq. LCD. Uses multi-modules. 30 to 79.95 MHz, spaced 50
PRC-68A Internal switch channel prog. No freq. LCD. Two modules. 30 to 79.95 MHz, spaced 25
PRC-68B Pushbutton chan. prog. Freq. LCD. Two modules. 30 to 87.9875 MHz and 130 to 173.9875 MHz, spaced 2.5
PRC-126 Pushbutton chan. prog. Freq. LCD. Two modules. 30 to 87.975 MHz spaced 25, 12.5 option
PRC-128 Pushbutton chan. prog. Freq. LCD. Two modules. 30 to 87.9875 MHz and 130 to 173.9875 MHz, spaced 12.5
PRC-136 USMC Crash Fire Rescue. Pushbutton chan. prog. Freq. LCD. Two modules. 130 to 173.9875 Mhz, spaced 2.5

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