Weapons and Kit

In pictures: Airborne signallers test out Army's new radio in Belize jungle

Airborne signallers have put the Army's new radio to the test in the challenging environment of the Belize jungle.

216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron has taken the multi-mode radio to the jungle to test the full range of its capabilities on Exercise Mercury Canopy.

The jungle provides a stern test for communication systems as the dense and moist vegetation absorbs radio waves and limits line-of-sight transmission.

The lightweight radio is called the L3Harris Falcon® IV AN/PRC-163 Multi-Channel Handheld.

It is a dual-channel radio which can be used in many roles, including ground-to-ground, air-to-ground, and beyond-line-of-sight (satellite communications) with aircraft and other ground forces.

The AN/PRC-163 radio has already been widely adopted by the US Army, US Marine Corps, US Special Operations Command, US Air Force, and a growing number of Nato allies, now including the UK.

More than 1,300 (Multi-Mode Radios) MMRs have been purchased for use by all three services through a £90m programme with L3Harris Communications Systems UK.

As part of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, the British Army's global response force, the Colchester-based signallers must have the skills to operate in any environment.

Across the five-week manoeuvres, they lived in the jungle for extended periods to learn how to look after themselves and their kit, while tailoring their communications and soldiering skills to the demands of the jungle's weather, vegetation and wildlife.

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