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What Radios Do the Military Use? – 5 Common Types

Writen by Edwin Jones

Fact checked by Andrew Wright

what radios do the military use

The military uses different types of radios. Among others, some of the most common are Motorola P25, Tadiran PNR-500, L3Harris SINGCARS, ASIP, and Collins Aerospace ANC/PRC-162.

If you want to learn more about what radios do the military use, we got you covered in this guide. Read on and find out some of the most common options for combat radio.

The Types of Radio the Military Uses

There is no single answer to this question. Instead, there are multiple radios used in the military communications systems, including those we’ll briefly talk about below.

1. Motorola P25 Radio


Project 25 (P25) refers to a land mobile radio system utilized in public safety. One of the most important things to note about P25 is that the users drive its direction. The standards are ever-evolving and enhancing, which change depending on the requirements of the public.

The most common type of military handheld radios is from Motorola. The Motorola P25 is a two-way radio with advanced technologies crucial in mission-critical communications.

To meet the demands of the military, P25 radios are also built to be tough. They are also designed with ergonomics in mind, which can help promote ease of use and comfort.

2. Tadiran PNR-500


For smaller military groups, the Tadiran PNR-500 is one of the most common radios used. It’s a full-duplex radio with voice and data conferencing, among other features. It’s popular at the platoon level.

One of the benefits of this radio is frequency optimization for all-terrain compatibility. The terrain or climatic conditions will not hurt the propagation capabilities of these radios, making them must-haves for reliable tactical communication.

It belongs to a category known as personal role radio. In a nutshell, it’s a kind of radio used for private communications. The radio operates using UHF bands, making it useful in tactical communications within a narrow range.

3. L3Harris Technology SINGCARS Radio


SINGCARS stands for Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System. It’s a combat-net radio that offers flexible mounting options. For instance, it can be tucked in a backpack or be installed in vehicles and aircraft.

In 2022, L3Harris inked a massive $6-billion contract with the US Army as part of its modernization program. The contract for SINGCARS army radio lasts for five years but with an option to extend for another five years.

L3 Harris radio military is no stranger to providing technologies for tactical communications. Their products are used in mission-critical operations.

4. ASIP Military Radio


The advanced SIP or ASIP radio is a modification of the SINGCARS. It’s a type of manpack radio, which means it’s lightweight and compact, typically meant to be carried in a backpack.

It features significant improvements from the previous types of US military radio. For instance, it has a digital signal processing function, which can make it more reliable even in challenging conditions. The extended battery life and power efficiency also make the radio notable.

5. Collins Aerospace AN/PRC-162 Radio


Offering communication at both narrow and wide bands, the AN/PRC-162 is another common choice for army radio systems. It’s part of a group of networked communications technologies that offer secure connectivity in the air or on the ground.

These military two-way radios are available for both mounted and dismounted use. The mounted options are known for their cost-saving benefits. On the other hand, the dismounted radios offer optimal flexibility for use anywhere and anytime.

How Does a Military Radio Work?


Military radio systems work in the same way as commercial radios. The military communication technology can differ between each branch, but they share common characteristics.

  • One of these similarities is that they transmit messages through AM and FM bands, as well as High Frequency and Ultra-High Frequency waves. The specific choice depends on the range of communication.
  • More so, during radio communication, they can utilize both the International Morse Code and Military Alphabet. It will help to communicate clearly.

Despite the similarities by which they work, take note that there are differences from radios for civilian use.

For instance, certain frequencies are assigned to the military. This can help in creating a secure communication network.

What are the Benefits of Military Radios?

One of the benefits of military radios is that they’re built for field operations. Hence, they have rugged construction. They are designed to be more durable than those used by civilians. The controls are also simple for ease of use.

Security is another benefit inherent in military walkie talkies. They offer state-of-the-art encryption technologies to secure the communication network. As a result, it prevents leaking radio communications to unauthorized users who might be listening.

Other Ways to Communicate in the Military


While the military tactical radio is an important element for tactical communication, it isn’t the only method.

  • Wireless digital intercom

Military personnel can use the intercom system to quickly navigate solutions, detect snipers, multiple smartphone signals, and more. It provides for the modernization of military data transfer without the use of a cable.

  • Satellite Communication System

It is used for navigation, intelligence gathering, and communication among soldiers. This system aids in the detection of nuclear denotation, space launches, and missile launches, hence serving as a warning system for the military.

  • Cryptography

It might sound old-school, but the military still utilizes cryptography as one of the main modes of communication. Such can provide a way to send messages without the possibility of interception, taking security to a high level.

  • Hand and arm signals

More so, the military also uses hand and arm signals, especially for close-range communication. It allows non-verbal transmission of important messages such as when an enemy is within proximity.

Does the Military Use FM Radio?

Yes, FM is a frequency that the military uses to communicate. It’s known for offering flexibility and speed. Despite this, some types of army radios also use AM or single-side bands.


Army communication equipment always fascinates people with its cutting edge technology. We hope that we answered your question about what radios do the military use.

They can be different types, but they share common features, such as ergonomic design and ease of use. Plus, the modern military radio is equipped with state-of-the-art security features.

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