NSA certifies Harris AN/PRC-163 radio for top secret intelligence

Nov. 7 (UPI) — The National Security Agency has granted Harris Corporation Type-1 certification for its AN/PRC-163 handheld networked encrypted radio approved for transmitting top secret classified information.

The certification, announced Tuesday by Harris, permits the radio to transmit voice and data including full motion video up to top secret level on both channels for VHF/UHF line of sight, SATCOM and Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking

The AN/PRC-163 provides communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for individuals in a portable system.

The radio is software based, and Harris claims can be upgraded in the field. It includes a mission module expansion slot for mission dependent additions.

It is designed for interoperability with legacy SATCOM, VHF/UHF line-of-sight, and Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking applications and is weather and shock resistant for protection against harsh environments and field conditions

“This important NSA Type-1 certification is a key milestone in delivering revolutionary capability in a handheld radio to our warfighters,” Dana Mehnert, president of Harris Communication Systems, said in a press release.

“The ability to securely transmit information using VHF/UHF line-of-sight, SATCOM, and Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking, as well as future applications in increasingly challenging communications environments, is critical to the warfighter,” Mehnert said.

One of the NSA’s responsibilities is to test and certify security and encryption standards on communication equipment that is used for transmitting classified information. This stems from their primary mission of hacking, code breaking, surveillance and countermeasures against national and cybersecurity threats.

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