The efficiency of combat forces - and potentially agencies engaged in rescue and urgent humanitarian operations - could be transformed by the use of a new low-cost digital radio system produced in the United Kingdom.
It comes in the form of a lightweight headset linked to a radio and powerpack the size of a personal stereo.
Known as the Bowman personal role radio (PRR), and produced by Marconi Mobile of Essex, PRR is a new capability that allows combat troops to relay information at section level simply by speaking into the hands-free low-cost radio.
PRR will equip combat formations across all three services including the Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force Regiment and army infantry, engineer and artillery units. The £20 million contract for 45 000 personal role radios was awarded to Marconi in February 2001 and deliveries began in July 2001.
In addition to voice communications, the system provides a tactical Internet and automatic position locating, navigation and reporting.
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