The Indian Army is in the process of replacing its communication mainstay Combat Net Radio (CNR) with Software Defined Radio (SDR) which can transmit data in addition to voice. The CNR supports voice communication with limited or no data transmission capability. The SDR, which is developed within India, has enhanced data transmission capability, enhanced voice clarity and data transmission accuracy in spectrally noisy environments. It supports multiple waveforms, greater system security and better communications survivability in clear and secure mode to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Army for its Network Centric Warfare (NCW).
The Indian Army is in the process to revamp its communication systems by procuring Very/Ultra High Frequency (V/UHF) Manpack SDRs and has issued Project Sanction Order (PSO) to 18 Indian vendors to start prototype development. The contract will be placed with one of the firms post successful development of a prototype as per provisions of Buy (Indian-IDDM) category of DAP 2020.
The Manpack V/UHF Software Defined Radio is proposed as a backward compatible Software Defined Radio which can be interoperable with future SDRs and other form factor SDRs with ability to add, remove or modify the output of the systems through reconfigurable and platform independent waveform leading to multi-mode, multi frequency and multi – platform operations in a single hardware configuration. The proposed system with Power output of IOW is being designed to have the ability to establish communication, both in fixed frequency and frequency hopping mode in both Clear and Secure Combat Net Radio and Mobile Adhoc Networks (MANET) operable in the frequency range of 30 — 512 MHz to have a communication range of 15 Km or greater. The system is to be able to transmit voice, data, message and video in both Clear and Secure mode in Fixed Frequency and Frequency Hopping mode for transmission of Voice, Ground to Air Voice, Narrow Band Data at 100 Kbps or more, Wide Band Data 1.0 Mbps or more, Narrow Band Mobile Adhoc Network (MANET) having 16 Nodes and Wide Band MANET having 32 Nodes.
The proposed system is designed to have capabilities including Modes of Operation – Squelch, Whisper, Sulk, Hops in MANET – Voice 3 Hops and Data 5 Hops, Hop rate of 500 hops or more per second and a Tape / Whip antenna of 3.1 m or less and Rod or Long whip antenna 5m or less.