Sat-Com’s new Hammer Head radio ideal for a variety of built-in applications, including marine


Namibian radio specialist Sat-Com has developed a new radio, based on its flagship Leopard, which it says offers greater flexibility for fixed and mounted installations, particularly in the maritime environment.

According to Sat-Com’s Managing Director David Brown, the Hammer Head came about in response to a customer who said the Leopard SDR (software-defined radio) is well suited to marine operations with its VHF capability. Still, the radio required a better user interface, resulting in the new Hammer Head. “This opens up the marine market for us,” he said

The Hammer Head radio builds on the successful Leopard1, which features frequency-hopping communications in the HF, VHF, and UHF bands. The new device offers improved ergonomics for mounted solutions. It has an enlarged display that improves viewing distance and an enlarged keypad for ease of operation whilst in a mobile vehicle or a boat on choppy water.

The Hammer Head retains the option of connecting all peripherals through front-mounted sockets as is the case of the Leopard1. The same peripheral connectivity has been added to the Hammer Head’s back to allow the client to connect accessories from either side. This feature allows for a clean installation with minimal to no cables protruding from the instrument panel. Additionally, the Hammer Head now boasts a built-in three-way antenna switch, capable of automatically selecting the appropriate RF-output for either the HF, VHF or UHF band antennas, Sat-Com said.

After receiving a European customer request, Sat-Com’s engineering team developed a 19″ extension kit. The client can now mount the Hammer Head in a standard 19″ rack for base station or ground-to-air applications.

The Leopard and the manpack Cheetah are relatively unique in the global military radio market. They offer HF, VHF, and UHF communication in a single package – military radios usually operate in one band. By allowing frequency-hopping communications in the HF, VHF, and UHF bands (1.6 MHz up to 512 MHz), the Leopard1 means soldiers do not have to carry multiple radios sets, saving weight and space.

With its radios, Sat-Com can cover the entire range of military requirements, including ground, air and naval communications. Sat-Com is promoting these products on the international market after having cornered the Namibian market.

Apart from the Hammer Head, other new Sat-Com products are under development. Brown said that the most exciting project is an IP/network radio for mesh networks in development with an international customer. Sat-Com hopes to bring out these products later this year. A handheld radio to meet the market demand for a smaller low-cost, mass-produced Radio is also in development.