Sat-Com’s panel-mount radio series evolves

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Several years ago, Sat-Com launched a new panel-mount radio and this has evolved into a successful new series of user-friendly radios.

The Badger, Shark and Hawk are based on the company’s flagship Leopard wideband manpack size radio, which is relatively unique in the global military radio market as it offers HF, VHF and UHF communication in a single package – military radios usually operate in one band as communication requirements are usually limited.

The new panel-mount radios feature a new man/machine interface with a bigger screen and larger controls for easier visibility and use, especially in maritime applications where a boat might be moving around wildly. This design came about in response to a customer who said the Leopard is well suited to marine operations with its VHF capability but who required an improved user interface.

Sat-Com explained that the panel mount models also come in a “+” version: they are 19-inch rack-mounted radios with integrated high power amplifier for amplification of a band specific range while still providing communication across the 1.6-512 MHz band. The maritime Shark+, ground-to-air Hawk+ (aimed at forward air controllers and similar applications) and land-based Badger+ are designed mainly for armoured vehicles, temporary base stations, or as an exciter.

“This range of radios are designed for panel and rack mount applications with standard low power capabilities. The performance, features and capabilities are exactly the same as the Leopard1 SDR (software defined radio). The only difference is the larger control head, display and keypad for convenient operations in base stations and mobile applications,” Sat-Com literature states.

The Shark, Hawk, and Badger are some of the many new products Sat-Com has recently developed, aside from an intercom system for armoured vehicles, a small handheld VHF radio (Lynx) and a mesh networking radio (Hornet1). These are joining its core focus of military software defined multiband radios: the Leopard1 HF/VHF/UHF manpack, base station and vehicle radio, and Cheetah3 VHF/UHF tactical manpack radio. Sat-Com is streamlining the design of its flagship Leopard, with the Leopard 2 having only 5 PC boards instead of 13 in the Leopard 1 as customers are becoming more conscious of weight and size. The new design will further improve reliability and performance.

Sat-Com has many new projects in the works but is eyeing other promising areas, such as high power base station and naval amplifiers, a higher powered HF manpack, low power and light weight handheld military software defined radios, antenna tuners for mobile and naval applications, and technology transfer for international customers.