AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE Satellite Radio Terminal

The AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE is a manpack portable, battery-operated, half-duplex UHF transceiver employed for long-range single channel UHF satellite communications and VHF/UHF single channel line-of-sight (LOS) communications. AN/PSC-5 provides two-way voice and data communications by satellite with embedded secure communications and digital DAMA [Demand Assigned Multiple Access] SATCOM modem components used for voice and data transmission.

AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE Satellite Radio with AS-3567 medium-gain SATCOM Antenna
AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE Satellite Radio with AS-3567 medium-gain SATCOM Antenna.

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23 Oct 1944 Palawan Island, Japanese armada detected on route to Leyte; American submarines sink two Japanese cruisers.
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AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE Satellite Radio Terminal

AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE Enhanced Manpack UHF Terminal (EMUT) in the field
AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE Enhanced Manpack UHF Terminal (EMUT) in the field.

The Enhanced Manpack UHF Terminal (EMUT) (or SPITFIRE) is a small, lightweight manpack Multiband Multmode radio (VHF and UHF) that provides Command and Control communications for War Fighters and supports the Special Operations Forces. AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE adds Embedded Communications Security (COMSEC) and Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA) capability compared to previous equipment. Both wideband and narrowband range has been extended for both voice and data in Manpack and Mobile Tactical Vehicles. The Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) Range Extension capability of the AN/PSC-5 is utilized in the Army's SATCOM-On-The-Move (SOTM) OE-563 functionality in moving vehicular platforms such as a HMMWV. AN/PSC-5 also complies with the JCS Mandate for all users to be Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA) & Advanced Narrow Band Digital Voice Terminal (ANDVT) capable.

AN/PSC-5 communicates with SINCGARS and HAVEQUICK II (frequency-hopping system) in Line of Sight modes and supports UHF and DAMA services in the UHF band, (225 to 400 MHZ) for narrow-band satellite communications. The military communication satellites utilized by the AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE are located in geosynchronous orbits and permit interconnections among mobile, ground terminals. The one-way distance to servicing satellites is approximately 25,000 miles, resulting in a round-trip propagation delay of approximately one-quarter of a second.

AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE weighs approximately 14-18 pounds (6.4 kg to 8.2 kg) including antenna and batteries. Its dimensions are: height 3.15 in (80 mm), length 13.0 in (330 mm), width .89 in (270 mm). AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE operates on the VHF-UHF bands (30 – 400 MHz) and provides 2,400 to 16,000-bits per second (bps) data rate, depending on mode setting. AN/PSC-5 often serves as a range extension relay for these services for other radios (e.g. SINCGARS AN/PRC-119.)

The AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE prime contractor is Raytheon Corporation, (Ft Wayne, IN and Largo, FL) originally awarded a contract in January 1994. Initial fielding was in FY1998. The AN/PSC-5 is used by U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Special Operations, with interoperability among the services. For the Army, AN/PSC-5 replaced the AN/PSC-3 (single channel SATCOM radio), AN/VSC-7, AN/PSC-7 and AN/LST-5C. AN/PSC-5 has been superseded by the AN/PRC-117, which extends frequency coverage into VHF.

AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE TACSAT Radio (RT-1672/U(C)) is identified by NSN 5820-01-366-4120. There are many accessories and related equipment items available to enhance or assist AN/PSC-5 operations.

AN/PSC-5 Upgrades

The AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE has been upgraded in two phases. The AN/PSC-5C SHADOWFIRE provides enhanced capability in addition to all the features of the AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE terminal. The extensions include additional ECCM, COMSEC, and networking capabilities, Maritime mode to enable ship-to-shore communications, plus Improved Voice Recognition with its Mixed Excitation Linear Predictive (MELP) vocoder. AN/PSC-5C SHADOWFIRE is available as a kit to upgrade existing AN/PSC-5 SPITFIRE terminals.

The AN/PSC-5D model is a software-defined radio, offering many of the waveforms of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). AN/PSC-5D is called the Multi-Band Multi-Mission Radio (MBMMR). It extends the UHF/VHF frequency range to 30 - 512 MHz (CNR, ATC, Maritime) and offers additional modes of operation, improved channel spacing, encryption interoperability, and programming options.

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