Taking tactical communications to the next level with Bittium Tough SDR tactical radios

Bittium, the Finnish pioneer in tactical software defined radios, known from its Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network™ (TAC WIN), is starting large-scale deliveries of a new product family of next generation tactical SDRs, including Bittium Tough SDR Handheld™ for dismounted soldiers and Bittium Tough SDR Vehicular™ for vehicle installations.

The tactical radios are a result of a long history in research and development in software defined radios as well as deployment of tactical networking solutions. Following the success of the Bittium TAC WIN as a wireless backbone network for modernizing tactical communications, the new tactical radios expand the product offering to individual soldier and vehicular level tactical radios. This enables bringing broadband data transfer and voice to all mobile troops starting from brigade level and all the way across the battlefield.

The handheld and vehicular radios can be used stand-alone or together with the TAC WIN network to produce and share real time situational awareness, including location, image, voice, video, and sensor data. This improves the performance and the effectiveness of the tactical troops, and leading the troops is easier based on the up-to-date situational awareness and more reliable connections.

Bittium Tactical Wireless IP Network™ (TAC WIN).

Support for several waveforms

The two platforms are provided with a set of waveforms. The radios can be used with the wideband Bittium TAC WIN Waveform, already operational with the Bittium TAC WIN system, the proprietary Bittium Narrowband Waveform as well as the European ESSOR High Data Rate Waveform for also coalition operations. Using the waveform, broadband data transfer, cooperation and direct communications between different national troops, starting already from the patrol level, are made possible.

The handheld and vehicular radios can flexibly use the most appropriate waveform with the best fit considering the conditions and the mission. Using several waveforms, even simultaneously, improves compatibility and enables operations on different levels and missions. Waveform portability allows also seamless porting of legacy or national proprietary waveforms with national COMSEC and TRANSEC.

The Tough SDR Vehicular is designed with two independent channels able to simultaneously run an instance of TAC WIN, ESSOR or Narrowband waveforms. This allows the vehicular radio to automatically connect with TAC WIN backbone while also autonomously networking with other tactical SDRs, such as Tough SDR Handheld, running ESSOR or the Narrowband waveform.

Innovative features for dismounted troops

The Bittium Tough SDR Handheld radio provides voice and data over the widest frequency range, from 30 MHz completely covering to 2500 MHz, for the individual soldiers such as squad or platoon leader. The uniquely wide range of frequency bands improves combat survivability significantly.

The radio is a perfect match for replacing legacy CNR in service with different defence forces. It will help to modernize the tactical communications infrastructure by bringing data-on-the-move, improved situational awareness and C2 applications to dismounted troops.

Managing the devices on the field is made easy with tactical device management suite allowing operators for example to configure the radio over web interface and conduct remote SW upgrades. The radio also has a secure application sandbox that provides flexibility for integration of different C2 applications, such as BMS and blue force tracking and other customer proprietary configurations.

Other features of the handheld include wired or wireless integration with tactical COTS tablets or smartphones, including Bittium Tough Mobile™ product family’s ultra secure smartphones running Android OS.

Taking it to the field

At first, Bittium starts the large-scale deliveries of the Tough SDR radios to the Finnish Defence Forces. The handheld and vehicle radios are renewing the Finnish Defence Forces’ existing stock of CNRs with the modern, broadband data transfer radios to support the reformed combat doctrine of the Finnish Defence Forces together with the Bittium TAC WIN system, which is already used by the Finnish Defence Forces. In the first phase, the new tactical radios will be used by the Army.

The seamlessly interconnected, reconfigurable family of tactical radios is offered to customers around the world. The radios will cater to a highly mobile force structuring a resilient, adaptive and secure network. Together with Bittium TAC WIN, the whole portfolio reflects a design philosophy towards improved usability, ease of maintenance and zero-configurability.