General Dynamics Introduces New URC-300 Software-Defined Ground-to-Air Radio
General Dynamics Mission Systems introduces today the new URC-300 software-defined radio. The URC-300 is a versatile platform that supports multiple waveforms and provides exceptional radio frequency (RF) performance to support ground-to-air, line-of-sight and other mission critical applications. It provides interference-free communications in highly congested environments and improves immunity to outside interference such as other airfield channels, Wi-Fi transmitters, and commercial FM broadcast towers.
Users can operate multiple URC-300s as close as 6.5 feet apart without interference, an unprecedented capability compared to currently available tactical man-pack radios that require at least 50 to as much as 115 feet of separation. This close proximity capability enables rapid grab-and-go, multi-channel operations during emergency situations.
General Dynamics will deliver URC-300 transceiver backpack systems in February to the U.S. Air Force’s Radar, Airfield and Weather Systems team at Kadena Air Base in Japan to improve ground-to-air communications at their alternate air traffic control tower and contingency field operations. The URC-300 is specifically designed to enable future features and functions to be added in the field via quick and simple software upgrades.
“Conventional software-defined radio platforms require additional hardware retrofits when new software is installed, requiring customers to return the radios to the manufacturer”, said Bill Ross, a vice president of General Dynamics Mission Systems. “We have essentially reinvented the term “software-defined” by designing the URC-300 with a flexible, core architecture comparable to a commercial smart phone. This approach simplifies new waveform and feature technology insertion enabling field upgradability without having to take it out of service. This essentially makes the radio “future proof” and greatly improves the value proposition for our customers, resulting in significant time and life cycle cost savings.
In addition to providing robust RF operations, the URC-300 supports many other applications including emergency grab-and-go, manpack, vehicular, scalable deployment and rackmount applications. The radio is ruggedized and meets MIL-STD-810 requirements, which provides protection against shock, vibration, altitude, humidity and temperature. It is interoperable with its predecessor, the URC-200™ (V2) radio, and many of its accessories. Since the URC-300 is smaller and lighter than the URC-200 (V2), two URC-300s can fit side-by-side in a single 19” rackmount tray. The radio’s newly re-designed front panel has a functional display and a simple intuitive keypad interface that is glove-friendly. A Web Maintainer Application allows the user to connect to the radio’s interface and control and monitor the front panel functions using a common browser such as Chrome or Edge. The URC-300 operates on standard lithium ion batteries and can operate longer on a single battery than most radios can operate on two. It also has a re-designed power supply that enables users to operate directly on DC power with embedded power conditioning for dirty power source environments.
General Dynamics understands that the spectrum approval process can be highly complex and time consuming, especially outside the U.S. As a result, General Dynamics will obtain all required certifications in advance to eliminate purchase, approval and spectrum roadblocks and help streamline deployment without delays. The URC-300 is compliant with global standards and certifications including Radio Equipment Directive (RED), REACH, RoHS, ETSI EN 300 676 compliance and it readily supports worldwide 8.33 kHz deployment. The radio is also certified by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for civilian use and certified to operate in the U.S. DoD Spectrum.