SINCGARS Manpack Radio

The AN/PRC-119 is the manpack portable radio of the SINCGARS family, replacing the AN/PRC-77 introduced in Vietnam.

SINCGARS Tactical Radio, AN/PRC-119 Manpack Version (left), shown with SPITFIRE AN/PSC-5 UHF/VHF Manpack Line-of-Sight and SATCOM/DAMA (Demand Assigned Multiple Access) Terminal (right)
SINCGARS Tactical Radio, AN/PRC-119 Manpack Version (left), shown with SPITFIRE AN/PSC-5 UHF/VHF Manpack Line-of-Sight and SATCOM/DAMA (Demand Assigned Multiple Access) Terminal (right).

The AN/PRC-119 is the Army's basic squad radio with a transmission range of about 8 km/five miles. A typical patrol will carry a manpack unit and communicate with a vehicle mounted or airborne unit within the compatible SINCGARS family.

Today in WW II: 19 Jan 1942 Japanese troops seize control of North Borneo.   

AN/PRC-119 SINCGARS Manpack Radio


The AN/PRC-l19 VHF/FM radio is designed for simple, quick operation using a 16-element keypad for push-button tuning. It is capable of short-range and long-range operation for voice, FSK, or digital data communications. It has both single-channel operation and a jam-resistant, frequency-hopping mode.

The AN/KY-57 secure communications module may be used with the AN/PRC-119 non-ICOM units. Newer SINCGARS has an integrated COMSEC (ICOM) module, compatible with VINSON COMSEC devices. The radio weighs 10 to 15 pounds (depending on components carried). The PRC-119 has suffixes A, C, D and F for upgraded models. The AN/PRC-119A is NSN 5820-01-267-9482.

SINCGARS Radio-Transmitter Front Panel

SINCGARS AN/PRC-119 Radio-Transmitter Front Panel

The SINCGARS Radio-Transmitter is common to all configurations, manpack and vehicular (not airborne). The full size units (not ASIP) have the front panel controls shown in the above drawing. The half-size ASIP models have a different layout to fit in the smaller space available.

Planning Ranges for SINCGARS AN/PRC-119

The manpack SINCGARS AN/PRC-119 or 119A have three power leves for transmission. The effective range is determined by terrain and the power range setting.

RF PWR Position Planning Range
LO (low) 200 m - 400 m
MED (medium) 400 m - 5 km
HI (high) 5 km - 10 km

SINCGARS Voice and Data Capability

SINCGARS AN/PRC-119 in the field

SINCGARS features both voice and data handling capability, in support of command and control operations. The SINCGARS Internet controller provides the communications link to access the network used by the digitized force.

Advanced Battery: Zinc-Air BA-8180/U

Manpack AN/PRC-119 radios require heavy batteries to operate. The zinc-air battery, BA-8180/U, NSN 6135-01-500-0527 can reduce the number of batteries needed for an operational mission. For example, one non-rechargeable, BA-8180/U zinc-air connected to a reusable interface adapter can replace up to five BA-5590s, the previous best battery.

There are three types of electrical interface adapters for the BA-8180/U, including equipment-specific adapters for the AN/PRC-119 SINCGARS and SINCGARS ASIP tactical radio sets, and a generic interface for equipment designed to interface with a BA-5590 or equivalent battery.

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