Commercial Radios Are Better, Cheaper Than JTRS, Army Official Says

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That's good or bad news if you're a radio-making contractor.

Lt. Gen. William N. Phillip, the Army’s acquisition chief, told a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee today that commercial tactical radios are “cheaper and better” than radios developed under 10-plus-year-old Joint Tactical Radio System or JTRS project.

These commercial radios, Philips said, “meet almost all our requirements,” and he said the Army plans to run a procurement based on “full and open competition” to meet its tactical radio requirements.

The subtext of this statement is good news for Harris Corp., which has developed and sold oodles of JTRS-like radios, and bad news for General Dynamics, whose manpack radio performed poorly in tests last September.