US Army’s AH-64D Apache Avionics Integration Program Gets JTRS

AH-64D (Our Mascot)

Lockheed Martin delivered the first secure joint tactical radio to US Army’s AH-64D Apache Avionics Integration Lab. The airborne, maritime / fixed station joint tactical Radio System, or AMF-JTRS as it is called, is a two channel radio running the Link 16 waveform.

Link 16 waveform operates in the High-UHF spectrum 960 Mhz to 1,215 Mhz and supports voice, data and video imagery. Link 16 supports data rates that are significantly higher up to a maximum of 238 kilo bits per second. The waveform is MIL-STD 6016, STANAG 5516 so inter-force communications should be seemless.

The AMF-JTRS delivered includes a two channel Engineering Development Model or EDM with a 200w Link 16 amplifier. The AMF-JTRS running Link 16 employs random frequency hopping, so it’s jam resistant.

Just a quick word on “jamming resistance”. Nations with developed communications technology have been known to jam an entire spectrum even if it means denying their own capabilities and in some cases that strategy is incorporated into a battle plan.

I am glad to see JTRS moving forward and it should prove interesting to see how the entire communications fabric comes together. One thing is certain, there is some very cool stuff in the pipe and we should start seeing that in the near future.

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