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During the Korean War, the AN/PRC-10 was the standard squad tactical radio family of the U.S. Army.[1] It was a 26-pound backpack vacuum tube radio with preselected frequencies in the 38.0 to 54.9 MHz range, using frequency modulation without any electronic protection.

Introduced in 1951, it began to be replaced by the AN/PRC-25 in 1962, and was rapidly replaced in the Vietnam War.

Operating range

As was the basic Army standard, it was VHF/FM: operating with frequency modulation in the lower part of the Very High Frequency (VHF) range: between 38.0 to 54.9 MHz; the AN/PRC-8 and AN/PRC-9 were identical save for operating frequencies, which went into the upper end of the High Frequency (HF) band for the -8 and -9.

Designation Frequency range (Megahertz)
AN/PRC-8 20.0 to 27.9
AN/PRC-9 27.0 to 38.9
AN/PRC-10 38.0 to 54.9


There were several antenna types, although, in practice, the portable antennas either were used in a non-approved mode or abandoned to avoid drawing enemy fire. "The AT-272/PRC antenna (the short antenna) consists of several lengths of flexible steel tape riveted together, making a tapered antenna 3 feet long that screws into the SHORT ANT jack. The short antenna is for general service and can be folded into the carrying bag that is part of the PRC-10 equipment list. In the field, soldiers quickly found that the backpack antenna was a sniper target. The antenna was therefore removed, or sometimes the radio was carrid upside down with the short antenna pointed to the ground, which did not seem to affect the range of 3 to 12 miles, depending on antenna used and siting conditions."[2]

The AT-271/PRC long whip antenna was intended for ground mounting folded in seven sections but assembled to 10 feet long a total of 10 feet long.


Transmit power level was not adjustable, either to reduce the probability of interception, extend battery life or to minimize interference.

Relay mode

Two of the radios could be interconnected as a relay. By using an AN/GRA-6 control device, the repeater could be operated remotely, as, for example, to keep a safe distance between a transmitter and a command post. [3]


  1. Technical Manual TM 11-612: Radio Sets AN/PRC-8, AN/PRC-9, and AN/PRC-10, U.S. Army, September 1951
  2. AN/PRC-10 Backpack Radio, OliveDrab
  3. TM 11-612, pp. 18-20