US Military Drives Multi-Billion Dollar Software Defined Radio Industry

9/28/2004 - The United States military is the largest proponent and purchaser of Software Defined Radio (SDR) equipment. In fact, shipments of SDR equipment to the United States military are forecast to reach over $1.7 Billion by 2007. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 48.4% between 2003 and 2007.

Most U.S. SDR procurement takes place through the DoDs JRTS program. JTRS was started seven years ago in an effort to coordinate the replacement of approximately 750,000 U.S. military radios with 250,000 to 320,000 Software Defined radios. Unlike previous radio systems, these new SDR radios can interoperate with each other and be upgraded via software to incorporate the latest communications technologies. Since its conception the program has been expanded to enable interoperability with the British military, NATO, and other Allied Forces.

The JTRS program is divided into 4 sub-programs, know as Clusters. Contracts for Cluster 5 and the AMF cluster were recently awarded. Initial contract awards, primary contractors, and subcontractors are listed below:

Cluster 1 - Initial Award $857 Million
Lead by Boeing

Cluster 2 - Update of existing contract
Lead by Thales

AMF Cluster (previously Clusters 3 and 4)

Team 1 - Lead by Boeing - Initial Award $54.6 Million

Team 2 - Lead by Lockheed Martin - Initial Award $51 Million

Cluster 5 - Initial Award $295 Million
Lead by General Dynamics

Senior VDC Telecom/Datacom Analyst Chad Hart comments, "The JTRS program continues to invigorate the SDR market with new products and technologies. These recent contracts will help to further entrench traditional military players like General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. However, these recent awards will also help catapult several smaller SDR vendors' revenues such as PrismTech and Vanu as well as create many new opportunities for many other emerging players outside of the contract teams."

About VDC
Founded in 1971, VDC is a technology market research and consulting firm that specializes in industrial and commercial electronics, computing, communications, software and power systems markets.

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