Secretary monitors Joint Tactical Radio System development

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The secretary of the Air Force recently visited the Joint Program Executive Office in San Diego to discuss the current status of the Department of Defense-mandated Joint Tactical Radio System, or JTRS, program. 

Secretary Michael W. Wynne, who sits on the board of directors for the JTRS program, received updates on the accomplishments, goals and challenges facing JTRS.

The goal of the JTRS program is to produce a family of radios that operate in a network to ensure secure, wireless communication for mobile and fixed forces across the joint battlefield.

JTRS radios will enable the transfer of voice, data and video between the Air Force and joint users. JTRS will also have the ability to use multiple waveforms to allow communication between joint users using a single radio type, cutting out the need to carry and maintain various handheld, aircraft, maritime and other legacy radios used in the field today.

"Cutting-edge networking technologies like JTRS vastly magnify U.S. military power," said Secretary Wynne. "Advanced waveforms are an important means of protecting our forces and ensuring our dominance of battlefield cyberspace."

The Air Force, in partnership with other services, plays a key part in developing the JTRS family of radios through the Airborne Maritime Fixed program office at the Electronics Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.

The AMF program provides information sharing and collaboration by supporting advanced networking capabilities to transmit, receive, bridge and gateway between similar and diverse waveforms over multiple communications media and networks. These capabilities will be enabled by Navy satellite communications and waveforms.

The radios are scheduled to enter the system design and development phase during the first quarter of 2008. The first radios are expected to be produced as early as 2011.

"The overall success of the joint warfighter depends on information sharing and collaboration among branches of the U.S. military and our coalition partners," said Dennis Bauman, the Joint Program executive officer for JTRS. "JTRS radio systems will benefit the tactical user by supporting real-time, battlefield awareness through an interoperable, networked communication capability, enabling battlefield superiority." 

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