AN/PRC-152 Handheld Radio

Harris Corporation developed the handheld Falcon III AN/PRC-152(C) to be fully compliant with joint Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS or 'jitters') requirements, including the needs of the US Army Future Combat System. JTRS is a software defined radio based on the JTRS Software Communications Architecture (SCA). Harris also produces the JTRS manpack Falcon III AN/PRC-117(G)(C), and vehicular Falcon III AN/VRC-110 (see below.) After 2010, JTRS radios are expected to supersede most earlier tactical radio systems in the U.S. forces and those of allied countries.

The AN/PRC-152 was designed, developed, and produced to military standards as a Harris Corporation internally funded product.

AN/PRC-152 Handheld Radio.  Photo:  Harris Corporation
AN/PRC-152 Handheld Radio. Photo: Harris Corporation.

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AN/PRC-152 Single-Channel Multiband, Multimission Handheld Radio

AN/PRC-152 Single-Channel Multiband, Multimission Handheld Radio. <br />Photo:  Harris Corporation
Photo: Harris Corporation.

To meet JTRS requirements, the AN/PRC-152 contains separate general-purpose digital processors and digital signal processors for both encrypted and clear voice and data communications, the only handheld small-unit transceiver in production with such a separate architecture. The AN/PRC-152 contains embedded NSA Type I COMSEC and is interoperable with SINCGARS and HAVEQUICK II in the single-channel and the ECCM frequency hopping modes. The AN/PRC-152 hardware and software can produce all of the significant tactical communications waveforms in use across the VHF/UHF (30-512 MHz) tactical frequency spectrum. The AN/PRC-152 also removes the communications barriers between civil agencies and military forces engaged in civil support missions by incorporating the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials–Project 25 (APCO-P25) waveform into its software library.

The AN/PRC-152 has a full keypad and display, making control of the radio easy. The keypad/display/menu system is identical to that of the popular AN/PRC-117F manpack radio, which helps to simplify training.

The AN/PRC-152 hardware is self-contained in a ruggedized case with dimensions: height 9.6 in (244mm), width 2.9 in (74mm), depth 1.7 in (43mm). The unit weighs 2.4 pounds (1kg) (with battery). The AN/PRC-152 case meets MIL-STD-810F environmental requirements. Each radio comes with a VHF tactical band (30-S8Mhz) vertical whip type antenna and a separate wideband VHF/UHF (30-512Mhz) antenna. For operation on frequencies below 90 Mhz the longer, more efficient VHF antenna is highly recommended. In addition, for units using the AN/PRC-152 for mobile satellite (SATCOM) applications, a 21 inch (533mm) vertical UHF antenna is also available. The SATCOM antenna will support burst power levels of 10 watts to aid in seizing the SATCOM channel. The radio, as deployed, comes with a rechargeable lithium ion battery capable of powering the radio for eight hours of normal operations (with a 6:3:1 receive/standby/transmit ratio). Standard Army handsets like the H-250 and other audio accessories are compatible and can be used with the radio to augment the built-in speaker/microphone, but are not provided with the radio.

The AN/PRC-152(C) is often compared with the AN/PRC-148(V)(C) MBITR, a related handheld radio. Both are considered Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) compliant. However, reports from the field indicate a definite preference for the PRC-148 (MBITR) over the PRC-152 in actual use.

The full model numbers for the first two versions of the AN/PRC-152 are: AN/PRC-152(V)1(C) assigned NSN 5820-01-554-953 and AN/PRC-152(V)2(C) assigned NSN 5820-01-554-7062.

AN/VRC-110 Dual Vehicle Adaptor

AN/VRC-110 consisting of two AN/PRC-152s on a dual vehicular mount.  Photo:  Harris Corporation
AN/VRC-110 consisting of two
AN/PRC-152s on a dual
vehicular mount.
Photo: Harris Corporation.

The AN/PRC-152 is the Receiver/Transmitter component of a vehicular radio configuration with "jerk and run" capabilities. This system is known as the AN/VRC-110 Dual Vehicle Adaptor, in which two AN/PRC-152 radios are fitted to a high-performance vehicular amplifier adaptor. The adaptor AN/VRC-110 works with the standard SINCGARS MT-6352 mount and installation kit. The system includes integrated speaker support for the LS-671 speaker and VIC-1 and VIC-3 intercoms.

The AN/VRC-110 configuration can also be used as a base station by adding an appropriate antenna and 24-volt power supply. The AN/VRC-110 uses the AN/PRC-152 to provide two 50-watt (adjustable) channels in the 30-90 MHz frequency range, thus making it the equivalent to the high-power (50 watt) SINCGARS configuration.

By 2008, the Marine Corps was reported to have fielded the VRC-110 in its Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to replace SINCGARS radios. Similarly, the US Army has purchased the AN/PRC-152 primarily as part of the AN/VRC-110 configuration and not for use as individual handheld radios.

Dual Vehicle Adaptor AN/VRC-110 has been assigned two NSNs (per Marine Corps documents, April 2009): NSN 5820-01-557-8450 and NSN 5820-01-565-9999.

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