The military initiated a program in the late 1990s to develop a family of digital combat radios dubbed the ‘Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS.) Because of the needs of the Iraq war, waivers are used because JTRS isn’t yet available. Despite the ‘Joint’ nature of the program, individual services have had responsibility for various parts, putting the program years behind schedule. Now the program is being restructured. To assist completion needed for the Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) items such as backward compatibility and encryption and superconducting electronics are being revisited. Meanwhile, contractors are developing software radios which will allow upgrades to meet current needs.
National Defense, August, 2005 pp 14-15
The Department of Defense conceived the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) in the late 1990s. The goal was to integrate more than 750,000 radios for all services and implement software control. Of specific battery interest is the cluster 5 classification for handheld radios. The program has less than solid final goals because of -- the variety of mission needs, the possibility of using next level technology including superconducting electronics and the demands of the Iraq war which expanded the need for present technology radios.
NATIONAL DEFENSE, Aug. 2005, pp.14-15