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HAVE QUICK II is the name of a family of military radios and associated communications security equipment, principally used for aircraft, shipboard, satellite, and other applications where there is a direct line-of-sight between the transmitter and receiver, or between the transmitter and a satellite or other relay. The family operates in the ultra high frequency (UHF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is often preferred in aircraft applications because its antennas are physically smaller than the equivalent in the very high frequency (VHF) spectrum.

Have Quick II, like the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) radio system more common in Army ground or airborne communications, is designed to function properly in an environment with active electronic warfare. Both systems use frequency-hopping as a means to interfere with jamming and interception for signals intelligence, as they rapidly change the frequency they use, so that the jammer will find itself on the wrong frequency, or the interception receiver will not be hearing the signal until it determines the new frequency. In like manner, direction finding systems may not be able to follow the changing frequency long enough to get an accurate position.

While frequency hopping is not encryption, it increases security, and most Have Quick II radios can be equipped with an encryption device. The sequence and order of frequency hops is determined by a pseudo-random number generator in each radio, with the hopping being time-synchronized using a Global Positioning System (GPS) time reference.

Depending on the particular device, the radio may be capable of linking to other military systems, such as the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS). JTIDS, for example, could allow a radar aircraft like the E-8 Joint STARS to send pictures to send information to ground troops, an attack helicopter, and a command post.

Representative implementations

Ground forces

Army helicopters, and vehicles and ground units that communicate with them, use the AN/ARC-164 series HAVE QUICK II radios. They allow Army to communicate with Air Force, Navy, and NATO aircraft operating in the UHF band used for tactical air operations.

The Army operational forces most likely to use these radios are in Army Aviation, Air Defense Artillery (especially the ADAM cells that deconflict the airspace over brigade combat teams, and Army Special Operations Command units such as the 75th Ranger Regiment.

The AN/PRC-117 is assigned to Marine battalions, special operations units, and signal companies.

Air operations

A representative HAVE QUICK II radio used among major communications is the AN/ARC-164, used on the E-3 Sentry and with ships equipped with the AEGIS battle management system. The radio works only with line-of-sight, but line-of-sight is quite far from a high-altitude E-3 to the surface.

One variant can switch to SINCGARS ground-oriented communications. When JTRS radios are deployed, Have Quick and SINCGARS in the same chassis will be standard.

The AN/ARC-164 comes in three physical implementations, and, in addition, the AN/VRC-83 has the same electronics packaged for use in ground vehicles. The variations of the aircraft unit are direct panel mounting, panel mounting of a remote control unit with interconnection cabling to this specific radio, and generalized software remote control with the radio on the MIL-STD-1553B bus. It uses external TSEC/KY-57 VINSON family encryption.

Satellite communications

For satellite connectivity, the AN/ARC-187 is a typical building block. There is one package with the receiver-transmitter electronics, which is approximately 5 1/2 by 5 by 15 inches deep. It has a variety of maps and cooling fans, and different control panels as standardized by the Navy and Air Force. Additional components add data and JTIDS capability.

The AN/PSC-5 is a software-defined evolutionary radio, although not JTRS-compatible.


Have Quick II is one of the first waveforms that will be spoken by the Joint Tactical Radio System, along with SINCGARS, so only a single physical radio will be needed to communicate in both modes.