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General Dynamics Upgrades DMR Radios to Quadruple US Navy’s Network Communications Capacity

General Dynamics has upgraded their Digital Modular Radios (DMR) to quadruple the United States Navy’s network communications capacity. The radio’s four channels are being upgraded with high-frequency dynamic routing (HFDR) software to double their channels to eight. Along with the HFDR, the high-frequency virtual channel exploitation software increases the DMR’s virtual channels to 16 while using the high frequency line-of-sight and ultra-high frequency satellite communications frequencies.

These sorts of advancements in radio technology are why the US Navy has trusted DMRs for such a long time. "As the first software-defined radio to be used by the U.S. military, DMR continues to produce long-term cost-effectiveness for the Navy because these technology advancements use software, avoiding time-consuming and cost-intensive hardware replacements," said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics Mission Systems.

This fourfold increase in channels does not come at the expense of additional hardware or changing the configuration of close-quartered shipboard radio rooms. General Dynamics is also looking to integrate mobile-user objective system waveform into DMRs, which gives it voice clarity capabilities similar to those found on mobile phones.

The state-of-the-art GMR is the first of its kind, according to General Dynamics’ website, “The Digital Modular Radio (DMR), AN/USC-61(C), is the first software-defined radio to have become a communications system standard for the U.S. Military. The compact, multi-channel DMR provides multiple waveforms and multi-level information security for voice and data communications from the core of the network to the tactical edge.”

There are currently 500 secure, four-channel DMR radios used in Navy operations all across the world. Some of the benefits of these DMRs include, but are not limited to:
  • Single radio for the entire 2 MHz – 2 GHz band
  • Dramatically simplified shipboard communications system architecture
  • Superior co-site performance
  • Reduced manpower requirements
  • Full logistical support in the U.S. Navy system

The Navy first equipped these radios in 1998 on surface and subsurface ships, along with several land-based locations. With the way they are expanding their channels, it would be no surprise to see them around for another 17 years.

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