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A SINCGARS is being operated from within a HMMWV

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.

SINCGARS uses 25 kHz channels in the very high frequency (VHF) FM band, from 30.000 to 87.975 megahertz (MHz). It has single-frequency and frequency hopping modes. The frequency-hopping mode hops 111 times a second.

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. The airborne AN/ARC-201 radio is phasing out[when?] the older tactical air-to-ground radios (AN/ARC-114 and AN/ARC-131).

Over 570,000 radios have been purchased.[1] 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 Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (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.


A Marine Corps 2nd Lt operates a PRC 119 during training in Quantico, Virginia


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-1523F with SideHat
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-1523 VHF radio configurations

VRC-89, two radios installed
Configuration Description[4]
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

Ancillary items

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ Erwin, Sandra I. (February 2007). "Delays in 'joint tactical radio' program cast doubts on future". nationaldefensemagazine. Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Edric. "Radio-based combat ID -- for free." RDECOM, 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2015-10-12 – Via
  3. ^ Release No: CR-086-16 Contracts: Press Operations U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2015-05-10 – Via
  4. ^ "SINCGARS RT-1523 VHF Radio Configurations" (PDF-537 KB). Exelis Inc. 2013. Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  5. ^ "Exelis - SideHat". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  6. ^ "Exelis - SINCGARS Airborne Radio". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Exelis - SINCGARS Embedded GPS Receiver". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  8. ^ "Exelis - SINCGARS GPS FanOut System". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  9. ^ "Exelis - SINCGARS Vehicle Remote Control Unit (VRCU)". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  10. ^ "Exelis - Single ASIP Radio Mount (SARM)". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 

External links