The AN/PRT-4 and AN/PRR-9 worked together as an attempt at a simple, lightweight Squad radio, albeit one-way. First fielded in Vietnam by the U.S. Army in March 1967, the idea was to extend an infantry platoon and/or squad leaders’ command and control beyond verbal, hand signals and personal contact communications. The system consisted of the handheld transmitter AN/PRT-4 which would be used by the platoon and/ or squad leaders’ to send communications to the helmet mounted receiver AN/PRR-9 which could be distributed to squad leaders and/ or members. A two way system could be created by having both a AN/PRT-4 and a AN/PRR-9 giving the users both send and receive capabilities.
The AN/PRT-4 & AN/PRR-9 squad radio was evaluated by the Army Concept Team in Vietnam, in conjunction with other agencies, to determine its suitability for use in Vietnam. The evaluation was conducted in three different parts:
- determination of suitability for use by Vietnamese forces
- determination of suitability for use by US Army forces
- determination of the impact of the squad radio on the frequency spectrum in Vietnam.
Vietnamese tests indicated that the squad radio is as suitable for their use as it is for US forces, and intelligibility is probably better. Communication range decreased significantly when the squad radio was operated in dense jungle. US Army personnel generally found the squad radio to be highly satisfactory but recommended better waterproofing and battery protection. Operational tests and studies by OCCE indicated that the squad radio will not have a serious impact on the frequency spectrum in Vietnam.