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Next Generation Handheld Radios Will Be Manufactured in Rochester 

Schumer: The Best Military Fighting Force in the World Will Have the World’s Best Tactical Radios – Made By Harris, Right Here in Rochester, USA 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that Rochester’s Harris Corp. was awarded a contract worth up to $390,000,000 to provide the Special Operations Forces tactical communications next generation handheld radio. It is a five-year contract and the majority of the work will be performed in Rochester, New York, with an estimated completion date of August 2020.                       

“This massive, and well-earned, $390 million federal contract will create and support jobs – and boost the Rochester economy. Harris Radio has proved again and again that they are capable of making superior radios for the most elite military in the world,” said Schumer. “Their radios are durable, dependable, and innovative, which means they have a long useful life to support some of the toughest missions around the globe.”                               

This will be an entirely new radio line that Harris has developed and builds off the investment Harris has made in its former Falcon II radio product line. The radio is a next generation hand held radio called the RF 335 and provides two channel capability in a smaller, lighter and more powerful handheld unit. According to Schumer, funding additional funding will be given on a delivery order basis.  This contract was competitive acquisition, with three proposals received. 

Schumer has long fought to keep Harris Corp. and its local subsidiary in Rochester by advocating for their programs during the Congressional appropriations process and working the Department of Defense to ensure their products were being utilized by the military:

-          In 2013, following Schumer’s personal call and letter to then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon reversed course and agreed to pursue an open and competitive acquisition process to determine which company would develop the new Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) “manpack” and “rifleman” radios.

-          In April of this year, Schumer urged federal appropriators to provide full funding for the U.S. Army’s tactical radio modernization programs in Fiscal Year 2016. Schumer said this program is aimed at producing and modernizing tactical radio units for the U.S. military.

-          Schumer said Harris Radio in Rochester was recently awarded a developmental one-year test contract for its handheld radio system, and this funding would allow it to continue that contract if it were selected following the test period.