Before you bitch about how heavy your manportable is….

Jim Meade is tasked to field test a “new” piece of equipment. The PRC-71. Needless to say his findings were not positive and the program was scrapped. Makes man portable take on a whole new meaning.

There was an effort by the Air Force during the mid 60s to develop prototype FAC units that would operate on all three tactical bands plus VHF Air. Rather than being a single radio with four bands inside, they were actually four separate radios, each with its own battery, fastened together on a frame, but arranged so they could be separated and operated independently if desired. Sylvania developed the PRC-71, while Bendix developed the PRC-72. Some number of units were produced (my guess is about a hundred or so) and tested in Vietnam. They hit the surplus market in the very early 70s, so their short life indicates to me a certain lack of success (too big, too heavy?). Later, there was a definition of a better system, the PRC-82, with the four bands designated PRC-83 through 86. All four radios were to be synthesized (the PRC-72 HF section was the only synthesized unit in the previous efforts, all the others were channelized with 2 to 6 channels). It appears that the PRC-82 venture never proceeded too far either.