Raytheon - FlexRadio Team to Develop Airborne High Frequency Radio

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  • Praise
  • Updated 4 months ago
Congratulations and hooray for Flex Radio!!!!  
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Richard Mcclelland

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Posted 5 months ago

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Photo of John - AI4FR

John - AI4FR

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Two thumbs up here!! Flex is a very power radio platform and if the contract will help Flex and especially the USA I am all for it.
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Gerald Youngblood and Joe Taylor are keeping Amateur radio current and viable.

This should be good for us. Don't think Raytheon and USAF will put up with Smartlink and DAX.

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Dave Gipson

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As a former Fort Wayne Magnavox (now Raytheon) man, I can honestly say this is GREAT news. We Flex owners will reap great benefits from this. Good stuff coming our way!

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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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This is incredibly great news! For the Flex family, Us government and the ham community. I know the partnership will ultimately win the contract and provide a revenue stream for decades to come.
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John - WA7UAR

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Likely related to this 3rd party announcement from February:
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Clay N9IO

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Great info BTW thanks for the links.
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The IC-750 is interesting but note: "*Down-conversion IF sampling method for 25 MHz and above".

The predecessor radio (AN/ARC-231) appears to be direct sampling 30-500Mc. The joint announcement : "The new radio will provide beyond line-of-sight, long distance communications for aircrews." implying no VHF/UHF, which seems odd.  Anyway...
Congratulations to the Flex Team.....

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Congratulations to FRS !!

The Raytheon-FRS team is one of two teams competing for the bigger final project.  Is the other L3Harris?  Final production project is supposed to be about a $400m project or so.

There is some info at https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/usaf-l3harris-airborne-hf-radio/ suggesting that the other team being L3Harris might be the case.



Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com 
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John - WA7UAR

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More speculation from my perspective... I'm imagining if a future Air Force SDR project might propose a platform for worldwide-routable secure transmission of RF signals...

There was an interesting presentation back in 2016 that talks about the progression of VITA-49 software. Flex uses VITA-49 (.0?) but there is a .2 version that was discussed back then. I found a YouTube video and a PDF presentation from the video speaker and posted it a few months ago at the URL below. I'm speculating too that  future Flex hardware might leverage newer versions of VITA-49 to do some amazing things for our hobby!

Quoting myself from that thread:
I’m imaging a long term project that allows Flex users anywhere to share receivers and transmitters among themselves globally. Want to work Europe the easy way? Use the Vita 49.2 protocols to find an available transmitter somewhere near the grid that you are looking for and give a call.
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Duane N9DG

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+1 I concur with your speculation and assessment.

I too watched that video in the referenced thread. The evolution of VITA-49 would sure seem to support many of the more advanced ideas that have been tossed about on this community over the last few years.
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Manfred HB9FLU

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Congratulations to the Flex crew! Great news for all of us.
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N5LB - Lionel B

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Well done Flex!
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Kudos to the Flex team. Great win!

I do have a question around what this will mean for amateur products? How much of the company's resources that would be developing software/hardware for amateur are gong to be refocused on the govt efforts?

Concretely, will be see continued advancement in the short to mid term in the amateur space or can we expect a hiatus while the govt contract is serviced (even if it means a hiring ramp)?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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W9TVX. You may have read the post by Flex a few days ago saying that Flex will remain dedicated to ham radio?
To answer your question, Flex has had contracts for many years before now. During the time of those contracts Flex has been able to continue working on SSDR software, came out with an outstanding amp, the PGXL. Four new radios over the last two years, Antenna genius, and a tuner on the way.

And keep in mind the Flex 6000 radios were born because of a Gov contract. As the direct sampling was part of the Gov work, that technology was added to the Flex radios.
Now with the development of technology in this latest adventure it is anyones guess what is in the future for Flex radios. What technology will spill over to us?

We don't have full disclosure about how Flex mandates the work flow to employees, and we shouldn't. But taking a look to the past, it shows that Flex has been able to handle both endevers.
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all fair points. 

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