High-frequency (HF) tactical radios are essential communication tools in modern military operations, offering reliable long-range communication capabilities even in the most challenging environments. Here, we explore ten of the world’s leading manufacturers of HF tactical radios, detailing their history, flagship products, and notable military clients and conflicts in which their equipment has been used.

1. Harris Corporation (L3Harris Technologies)

History and Origin:

Harris Corporation, now part of L3Harris Technologies after a merger in 2019, was founded in 1895 in Cleveland, Ohio. The company has a long history of developing advanced communication systems for both military and civilian use.

Flagship Products:

  • AN/PRC-150(C): This HF radio is known for its robustness and reliability in field operations, providing secure voice and data communications over long distances.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Harris radios have been extensively used by the U.S. military and allied forces. They have seen action in various conflicts, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where secure and reliable communication was critical.

2. Thales Group

History and Origin:

Thales Group, headquartered in La Défense, Paris, France, was established in 2000 from the merger of Thomson-CSF and other defense electronics companies. It has a global presence in aerospace, defense, and security markets.

Flagship Products:

  • TRC 3700 HF: This radio is part of the company’s family of tactical communication solutions, offering high performance in diverse operational conditions.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Thales radios are widely used by NATO forces and have been employed in peacekeeping missions and military operations around the world, including in the Middle East and Africa.

3. Barrett Communications

History and Origin:

Barrett Communications, an Australian company founded in 1976, specializes in HF and VHF radio communications for military, humanitarian, and commercial applications.

Flagship Products:

  • PRC-2090 Tactical HF Radio: This manpack radio is designed for long-range voice and data communications, with robust encryption and frequency hopping capabilities.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Barrett’s radios are used by military forces in over 150 countries and have been deployed in various conflicts and peacekeeping missions, including in Africa and the Middle East.

4. Codan Communications

History and Origin:

Founded in 1959 and based in Adelaide, Australia, Codan Communications focuses on innovative communication solutions for remote and harsh environments.

Flagship Products:

  • Sentry-H 6110-MP: This HF manpack radio is known for its lightweight design and superior communication range, suitable for various tactical scenarios.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Codan’s radios are used by military forces, NGOs, and peacekeeping operations globally. They have been instrumental in communication during disaster response and military operations in Africa and Asia.

5. Rohde & Schwarz

History and Origin:

Founded in 1933 in Munich, Germany, Rohde & Schwarz is a leading provider of electronic test equipment, broadcast and media systems, and secure communications.

Flagship Products:

  • M3TR (Multiband Tactical Radio): This versatile radio covers HF, VHF, and UHF bands, providing comprehensive communication solutions for military operations.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Rohde & Schwarz radios are used by NATO forces and various other military organizations. They have been deployed in numerous NATO-led missions and joint military exercises.

6. Leonardo S.p.A.

History and Origin:

Leonardo S.p.A., originally founded as Finmeccanica in 1948 and rebranded in 2016, is an Italian multinational specializing in aerospace, defense, and security.

Flagship Products:

  • CNR2000: This tactical HF radio offers secure and reliable long-distance communication, designed for challenging operational environments.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Leonardo’s communication systems are used by Italian and other European military forces. They have been part of operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and various peacekeeping missions.

7. Elbit Systems

History and Origin:

Elbit Systems, established in 1966 and based in Haifa, Israel, is a global defense electronics company known for its advanced military technology solutions.

Flagship Products:

  • HF-8000: This HF radio system provides secure and reliable communication for tactical and strategic operations.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Elbit Systems’ radios are used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and various other military clients worldwide. They have been deployed in numerous conflicts in the Middle East.

8. BAE Systems

History and Origin:

BAE Systems, a British multinational defense, security, and aerospace company, was formed in 1999 through the merger of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems.

Flagship Products:

  • RT-7000: This HF radio offers advanced communication capabilities, designed to meet the needs of modern military operations.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

BAE Systems’ communication equipment is used by the UK military and allied forces. They have been involved in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and various NATO missions.

9. Raytheon Technologies

History and Origin:

Raytheon Technologies, established in 2020 from the merger of Raytheon Company and United Technologies Corporation, is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.

Flagship Products:

  • AN/ARC-231: This airborne communication system provides secure HF, VHF, and UHF communication capabilities.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Raytheon’s radios are widely used by the U.S. military and NATO allies. They have been integral to operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other global conflicts.

10. Collins Aerospace

History and Origin:

Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies, was formed in 2018 from the merger of Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems. It is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Flagship Products:

  • HF-9000: This HF radio system is designed for reliable and secure communication in airborne platforms.

Military Clients and Conflicts:

Collins Aerospace radios are used by various air forces, including the U.S. Air Force and NATO allies. They have been deployed in multiple military operations and humanitarian missions worldwide.

In conclusion, these ten companies represent the pinnacle of HF tactical radio manufacturing, providing vital communication tools that have supported military operations across the globe. Their innovations and commitment to reliability have made them indispensable partners to military forces in various conflicts and peacekeeping missions.

By 9M2PJU

An amateur radio operator, Royal Signals veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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