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The Mercury Cadet Radio VHF system provides an assured, independent encrypted communications capability that can be used safely in classrooms, on UK Defence training areas or in wild country. Its simplicity ensures it is easy to use, train and maintain over a support life period.
Drumgrange has developed a deployable and flexible radio communications system that acts as an enabler for safety and practical radio training. With this, it provides clear effective voice communications across VHF military bands that can be used by dismounted users in classroom, mobile and static configurations.
Central to the Mercury Radio systems is the handheld or body-worn VHF PRC-710 radio, capable of operating at different RF power output levels allowing it to work in low, medium and high power modes of operation. For example, when the VHF Radio is operating on the mobile-on-foot configuration, it can be deployed in defence training areas or in wild country to conduct voice communications up to a distance of 2 km by the operator or 8 km to the supervisor. This highlights the contrast between the operating capabilities in power and range when the system in operating at a low or high mode.
In addition, when the VHF radio system is configured to a classroom environment it can be deployed into building, classrooms, courtyards etc within an area to conduct voice communications up to a distance of 100m by the supervisors and operators.
In 2017 Drumgrange worked closely with Elbit Systems to develop the Mercury Radio System used by the Army Cadet Force (ACF) and has been delivered through the UK MoD by the BATCIS (Battlefield and Tactical Communication & Information Systems) Delivery Team. With 41,000 cadets and 9,500 adult volunteers in over 1,600 locations through the UK, the ACF is one of the country's largest voluntary youth organisations. This VHF Radio System has enabled practical Signals training for 12-17 year old Cadets, and Command & Control capability for Adult Volunteers.
George Howe, Managing Director of Drumgrange, commented:
"Alongside Elbit Systems, we are delighted to be able to provide the Army cadet Force with a communications solution that will not only allow them to train effectively but also provide a key safety communications network for support on exercises and other cadet activities. In providing new and cutting-edge equipment, we hope it helps to inspire young people within the unique 'life' learning environment of the Cadets".
Elbit Systems manufactured and supplied the PRC 710 VHF Handheld Radio, including PRC 715 Amplifiers, and the PRC 720 MICOM Pathfinder HF Radios. Whilst both VHF and HF models have been sold in large numbers worldwide, specific enhancements were implemented for this programme. For examples, the RF output power of the radios was limited to protect both the Cadets and Adult Volunteers.
MERCURY PRC 710 Handheld VHF Radio