Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) is a Combat Net Radio (CNR) currently used by U.S. and allied military forces. The radios, which handle voice and data communications, are designed to be reliable, secure, and easily maintained. Vehicle-mount, backpack, airborne, and handheld form factors are available.
The SINCGARS family has mostly replaced the Vietnam-war-era synthesized single frequency radios (AN/PRC-77 and AN/VRC-12), although it can work with them. An aircraft AN/ARC-201 SINCGARS radio is phasing out the older tactical air-to-ground radios (AN/ARC-114 and AN/ARC-131).
Over 570,000 SINCGARS radios have been purchased. There have been several system improvement programs, including the Integrated Communications Security (ICOM) models, which have provided integrated voice and data encryption, the Special Improvement Program (SIP) models, which add additional data modes, and the advanced SIP (ASIP) models, which are less than half the size and weight of ICOM and SIP models and provided enhanced FEC (forward error correction) data modes, RS-232 asynchronous data, Packet Data formats, and direct interfacing to GPS (PLGR) devices providing radio level Situational Awareness capability.
In 1992, the U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to replace the AN/ARC-188 for communications between Air Force aircraft and Army units.
- November 1983: ITT wins the contract for the first type of radio, for ground troops.
- May 1985: ITT wins the contract for the airborne SINCGARS.
- July 1988: General Dynamics wins a second-source contract for the ground radio.
- April 1989: ITT reaches "Milestone IIIB": full-rate production.
- December 1990: 1st Division is equipped.
- December 1991: General Dynamics wins the "Option 1 Award" for the ground radio.
- March 1992: ITT wins a "Ground and Airborne" award.
- July 1992: Magnavox Electronics Systems Company develops the airborne SINCGARS AN/ARC-222 for Air Force
- August 1993: General Dynamics achieves full rate production.
- April 1994: ITT and General Dynamics compete for the ground radio.
- May 1994: ITT wins a sole-source contract for the airborne radio.
- 1997: ITT became the sole source supplier of the new half-size RT-1523E radio to the US Army.
- 2006: The RT-1523F/SideHat® configuration provides a 2-channel capability.
- July 2009: ITT wins RT-1523G platform development, $363 Million Dollar Contract. Partnered with Thales Communications Inc.
- 2012: Capability Set 14 to provide Universal Network Situational Awareness to help prevent air-to-ground friendly fire incidents.
|Model||Year Introduced||Quantity Produced||Features||Photo|
|RT-1439||1988||16,475||The SINCGARS baseline radio provided non-secure ECCM frequency hopping and single channel FM voice and data capability over the 30 - 87.975 MHz band. The RT-1439 provided an interface for an external COMSEC device for secure operations. It could be deployed in a manpack configuration, and in conjunction with other equipment in a vehicular configuration.|
|RT-1523 (ICOM)||1990||39,375||The RT-1523 provided all features in the RT-1439, but also contained an integrated KY-57 compatible COMSEC module for secure frequency hopping operations. The RT-1523 included a keypad assembly to provide enhanced display and control functions for the operator.|
|RT-1523A||General Dynamics model|
|RT-1523B (ICOM)||1994||37,363||The RT-1523B provided improved COSITE performance and increased battery life. It marked significant performance improvements with the introduction of the enhanced message completion algorithm.|
|RT-1523C (SIP)||1996||35,152||The RT-1523C(C)/U introduced several new features to the SINCGARS family. The RAILMAN COMSEC device was embedded in the RT-1523C design. The RT-1523C also introduced the Reed-Solomon Forward Error Correction algorithms to increase throughput, improve bit error rates, and improve interference protection resulting in improved/extended range performance. GPS position reporting was also embedded in all voice and Enhanced Data Mode messages to provide reporting of friendly force position in support of Situational Awareness. A new FH packet data waveform and channel access algorithm also provided for mixed voice and packet data operations in a common net.|
|RT-1523D (SIP)||General Dynamics model|
|RT-1523E (ASIP)||1998||136,027||The RT-1523E was designed to include all the features of the RT-1523C, at half the size and weight, with virtually no degradation in capabilities or performance relative to the SIP RT.
The RT-1523E introduced a new frequency hopping mode of operation, called SINCGARS Mode 2. The new SINCGARS Mode 2 comprises all the same Mode 1 FH configurations but under a new TRANSEC security umbrella. The RT-1523E is reprogrammable via the front panel data connector.
|RT-1523F (ASIP)||2006||273,037||The RT-1523F pictured with SideHat® provides a SINCGARS ASIP 2-channel radio, based upon the design of the RT-1523E. The RT-1523F program was structured into two phases. The first phase inserted the required physical and electrical interfaces into the ASIP RT-1523E in a manner that accommodates an Auxiliary Module, which provides the second channel. The second phase of the program developed the Auxiliary Module. The Auxiliary Module can be attached externally to the RT-1523F radio chassis on the left side when facing the front panel. The primary distinction between the RT-1523F and its predecessor RT-1523E is the addition of this interface.
The RT-1523F also introduced the Radio Based Combat ID (RBCI) capability. This enhancement allows the radio to operate as a RBCI Interrogator, a RBCI RE-Relay, and it allows it to add RBCI Responder functionality to any of its FH voice or data modes. The RT-1523F also introduced the Radio Based Situational Awareness (RBSA) enhancement to the existing SA capabilities of the ASIP radios.
|RT-1523G (ASIP)||2010||12,029||The RT-1523G provides all features and functions of the RT-1523F. Additionally, the RT-1523G provides Crypto- Modernization and JTRS SCA Compliance for the SINCGARS program. An upgrade path will be available to bring all RT-1523E and RT-1523F radios to the RT-1523G configuration.|
|RT-1730C||Modified RT-1523C for Naval applications.|
|RT-1730E||Modified RT-1523E for Naval applications|
|RT-1702F||Export version of the RT-1523F|
|RT-1702G||Updated manpack radio with 10 watt output for Iraq|
SINCGARS RT-1523 VHF radio configurations
|AN/VRC-87||Vehicular 5 watt short-range|
|AN/VRC-88||Vehicular 5 watt short-range dismountable – with manpack accessories|
|AN/VRC-89||Vehicular 50 watt long-range/short-range|
|AN/VRC-90||Vehicular 50 watt long-range|
|AN/VRC-91||Vehicular 50 watt long-range dismountable short-range – with manpack accessories|
|AN/VRC-92||Vehicular 50 watt dual long-range (retransmit) – plus 2nd power amp and retrans cable|
|AN/PRC-119||5 watt manpack|
SideHat - The Exelis SideHat is a simple radio solution that quickly attaches to existing SINCGARS radio installations, offering rapid, affordable and interoperable wideband network communications for Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) deployments and other SRW applications.
SINCGARS Airborne - The Exelis AN/ARC-201 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) System Improvement Program (SIP) airborne radio is a reliable, field-proven voice and data battlespace communications system with networking capabilities.
SINCGARS Embedded GPS Receiver - The Exelis Selective Availability Antispoofing Module (SAASM) technology Embedded GPS Receiver (EGR) installed in the SINCGARS RT-1523(E)-(F) provides a unique navigation/communication secure system in support of critical Warfighter capabilities that includes Situational Awareness, Combat ID, Navigation and Timing and Surveying Capabilities.
SINCGARS GPS FanOut System - Provides six GPS formats from a single GPS source (SINCGARS RT-1523 with integrated SAASM GPS or PLGR/DAGR).
SINCGARS VRCU - Designed to be placed anywhere on a vehicle, VRCU is critically important in large vehicles and those with tight quarters. VRCU allows full control of both single and dual RT-1523 (models E, F, and G) and RT-1702 (models E and F) radios for ease of use from any location within a vehicle.
Single ASIP Radio Mount - Single ASIP Radio Mount or SARM is the latest SINCGARS vehicle installation mount developed specifically for RT-1523 or RT-1702 radios. SARM solves the space and weight claim issues associated with traditional vehicle installation mounts. SARM operates on 12 or 24 volt allowing easy installation into any military or civilian vehicle.
- Delays in ‘joint tactical radio’ program cast doubts on future
- Thompson, Edric. "Radio-based combat ID -- for free." RDECOM, 10 October 2012.
- [www.exelisinc.com] Exelis RT-1523 Configurations
- [www.exelisinc.com] Exelis SideHat®
- [www.exelisinc.com] Exelis SINCGARS Airborne Radio
- [www.exelisinc.com] Exelis SINCGARS Embedded GPS Receiver
- [www.exelisinc.com] Exelis SINCGARS GPS FanOut System
- [www.exelisinc.com] Exelis SINCGARS Vehicle Remote Control Unit
- [www.exelisinc.com] Exelis Single ASIP Radio Mount
- Exelis (Formerly ITT Communication Systems)
- Data sheet for the Exelis SINCGARS RT-1523 VHF Radio
- Data sheet for the Exelis SINCGARS RT-1702 VHF Radio
- www.fas.org: SINGLE CHANNEL GROUND and AIRBORNE RADIO SYSTEM (SINCGARS)
- www.monmouth.army.mil: FISCAL YEAR 1997 COMMAND, CONTROL, COMMUNICATIONS, COMPUTERS, INTELLIGENCE, ELECTRONIC WARFARE AND SENSORS (C4IEWS) PROJECT BOOK
- www.globalsecurity.org - NOTE development contractor for the ARC-222 was Magnavox in Fort Wayne, Indiana, not Raytheon as stated. See link above
- Jane's summary of the AN/VRC-92F
- Information on RT-1439 radio