Joint Tactical Radio System - History


  • CONDOR (Command and Control on the Move Network, Digital Over the Horizon Relay)

During the Iraq War, the USMC developed their own system using commercial off the shelf technology, combining satcoms with wifi, that has worked ever since.

  • Ground Mobile Radios
    • GMR - formerly Cluster 1, run by the Army, was to equip Marine and Army ground vehicles, Air Force Tactical Air Control Parties (TACPs), and Army helicopters. Cluster 1 also included the development of a Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW), a next-generation Internet protocol (IP)-based waveform designed to allow mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET). In 2005, the cluster was renamed Ground Mobile Radios (GMR) with the Air Force TACP and Army helicopter radios deleted.
  • Handeheld Manpack & Small Form Fit
    • HMS - formally Cluster 5, led by the Army, is developing handheld, man-portable, and smaller radios. In 2006, it was renamed HMS, for Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Factor.
  • Airborne & Maritime/Fixed Station
    • AMF - formerly Clusters 3 and 4: Cluster 3 aimed to develop a maritime / fixed radio. It was led by the Navy and grew out of the Navy's previous Digital Modular Radio program. Cluster 4, led by the Air Force, aimed to provide radios to Air Force and Navy fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. In 2004, Clusters 3 and 4 were combined into the Airborne and Maritime / Fixed-Station program. In 2006, the Army helicopter radio was added to this cluster. In early 2008, JTRS AMF attained Milestone B after it received an additional $700 million. Cost estimates conducted by OSD's CAIG determined that the original amount, just over $500 million, was too little.On March 28, 2008, Lockheed Martin announced that the JTRS Joint Program Executive Office picked it to design and provide tactical communications and networking gear for the Air Force, Army, Navy and other users. The initial System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract value is $766 million. Subcontractors will include BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. Work will be conducted at Scottsdale, Ariz.; San Diego, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Gaithersburg, Md.; St. Paul, Minn.; Wayne, N.J.; Charleston, S.C.; and Chantilly and Reston, Va.
  • MIDS JTRS - In 2006, the JTRS program took over the effort to improve the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminal (MIDS-LVT) design, which was developed by a 5-nation consortium in the 1990s. This program was renamed MIDS-JTRS and has also experienced cost growth and delays.
  • Special Radios
    • JEM. - formally Cluster 2, was renamed the JTRS JEM program, adds JTRS capability to the existing handheld AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR) to create the JTRS Enhanced MBITR (JEM). Led by U.S. Special Operations Command, the development effort has certified and fielded the radio.

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