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Radio systems and networks

This page contains information about (military) radio sets and networks. The list is by no means complete and only shows devices that contain, or are used in combination with, cryptographic equipment. It also shows radios that were used by Stay-Behind Networks (Gladio), Special Forces (SF) and emergency services. For radios that were used for clandestine (espionage) operations, please refer to the section on spy radio sets.

This section also describes a number of integrated (radio) communication systems that are commonly referred to on this website. Click any of the links below for further information or check out the Glossary. If you have additional information available, please contact us.

Radio sets on this website
First hand-held two-way radio
AN/PRC-77 portable VHF/FM radio
Close-up of the two control units: the EMU (left) and the frequency control unit (right)
RT-1439 right angle view
RT-1439 right angle view
AEG Telefunken SE-6861 HF radio, also known as LAPR
Philips RT-3600 wideband VHF FM radio
Philips RT-4600 wideband VHF FM radio
KL/GRA-3686 radio remote control set
Philips/HSA/Signaal VHF FM wideband military tactical manpack radio
The TACBE in the palm of a hand
Telefunken spy set FS-5000
Telefunken tactical radio family HF-7000
Russian R-152 radio station
Yugoslav RU-2 and RU-2/2K manpack transceiver
Racal PRM-4720A rugged tactical portable VHF-L FM radio
Racal PRM-4515 Cougar handheld radio
Racal Cougar PRM-4735 body-wearable covert radio with voice encryption
Selex H4855 Personal Role Radio (PRR)
Selex H4855 ELSA Enhanced Encrypted Personal Role Radio (EZ-PRR)
Telefunken FuG-8 two-way police radio (4m band)
RDN-F-221 full-duplex data/voice radio for 2-meter band
Siemens CHX-200 high-end HF radio system
Telefunken ECHOTEL HF Modem ETM-1800
Telefunken ECHOTEL HF Modem ETM-1810
Telefunken ECHOTEL HF Modem ETM-1820
R-187-P1 (Azart-P1) military handheld software defined radio (SDR)
TETRA digital two-way radio network
TETRA network used by Dutch public safety services
Digital Mobile Radio
Joint Tactical Radio System
 Index of radio sets    Spy radios    Covert radios    Radio telephony    Amateur
Integrated radio systems
International Telecommunication Union   ITU
The allocation of the frequency spectrum is internationally coordinated by the International Tele­communication Union (ITU) [4], which is part of the United nations (UN). Within the ITU, the use of the radio spectrum is delegated to the Radio section ITU-R, who has divided the world into the three regions shown in the map below. Europe, Afrika and part of the Middle-East are in Region 1, North and South America are in Region 2. Asia, Australia and New Zealand are in Region 3.

Radio bands
ITU band designation
Band Name Frequency Remark Wiki
TLF Tremendously Low Frequency 0.3 - 3 Hz    
ELF Extremely Low Frequency 3 - 30 Hz U-boat communication  
SLF Super Low Frequency 30 - 300 Hz U-boat communication  
ULF Ultra Low Frequency 300 Hz - 3 kHz Earth-Mode comms  
VLF Very Low Frequency 3 - 30 kHz Time, military, navigation  
LF Low Frequency 30 - 300 kHz LW AM broadcast, nav.  
MF Medium Frequency 300 kHz - 3 MHz MW AM broadcast, nav.  
HF High Frequency 3 - 30 MHz SW AM broadcast, amateur  
VHF Very High Frequency 30 - 300 MHz TV, radio, 2-way comms  
UHF Ultra High Frequency 300 - 3000 MHz TV, radar, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2-way radio, amateur  
SHF Super High Frequency 3 - 30 GHz Point-to-point, Wi-Fi, radar  
EHF Extremely High Frequency 30 - 300 GHz 5G, radar, security  
THF Tremendously High Frequency 300 GHz - 3 THz Astronomy, research 1  
  1. Some sources define the upper limit of the THF band ad 30 THz. This band lies within the transition region between microwave and far infrared, and can be regarded as either.

Broadcast bands
Band ITU Frequency Channel Spacing Remark
I VHF 47 - 68 MHz 2-4 7 MHz Analogue television
II VHF 87.5 - 108 MHz - - FM radio broadcast band
III VHF 174 - 230 MHz 5-12 7 MHz Analogue television 1
IV UHF 470 - 581 MHz 21-34 8 MHz Analogue television
V UHF 582 - 960 MHz 35-81 8 MHz Analogue television 2
VI SHF 11.7 - 12.7 GHz - ? DBS, astronomy
VII ? ? - ? reserved
  1. At present, band III is used for digital radio (T-DAB) rather than for digital television.
  2. In Europe, band V runs from 582 to 862 MHz. The rest is used for mobile communication.

IEEE band designation
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) uses different designators for the various frequency bands, which is mainly based on (suitability for) radar applications.

Band Frequency Remark Wiki
HF 3 - 30 MHz SW AM broadcast, amateur  
VHF 30 - 300 MHz TV, broadcast radio, 2-way radio, amateur  
UHF 300 - 3000 MHz TV, radar, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2-way radio, amateur  
L 1 - 2 GHz Mobile, satellite, air, military, amateur, DAB  
S 2 - 4 GHz Radar, satellite, phones, ISM, microwave ovens, WiFi  
C 4 - 8 GHz Satellite, Wi-Fi,phones, radar, weather radar  
X 8 - 12 GHz Radar, DBS, space comms, imaging radar  
Ku 12 - 18 GHz Satellite television, speed radar  
K 18 - 27 GHz Short range applications, amateur 2  
Ka 26.5 - 40 GHz Satellite uplink, close-range radar, speed radar, 5G  
V 40 - 75 GHz High-capacity short-range LOS data, inter-satellite 1  
W 75 - 110 GHz Radar, heat ray, weapon detection, in-space comms  
mm 30 - 300 GHz 5G, radar, security  
  1. IEEE band V ('vee') should not be confused with ITU band V (five).
  2. The K-band was originally one contiguous band, which has meanwhile been split into Ku, K and Ka. The reason for this is that the centre part (18 - 26.5 GHz) is hardly usable due to absorption by water vapour in the atmosphere. It is only useful for short-range applications.  Wikipedia

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) uses a variety of band designations, including the ITU and IEEE ones specified above. Some designation schemes are from the Cold War era and are now obsolete, although they are still used in practice. Since 1992, frequency assignments are in line to the NATO Joint civil/military Frequency Agreement (NJFA) [3].

NATO Cold War band designators   obsolete
Band Frequency Remark
A 0 - 250 MHz VLF, LF, MF, HF, VHF — fixed/mobile comms, navigation
B 250 - 500 MHz VHF, UHF — fixed/mobile comms, satellite, meteo, nav.
C 500 - 1000 MHz UHF — fixed/mobile comms, radiolocation
D 1 - 2 GHz UHF — aeronautical comms, radio navigation, satellite
E 2 - 3 GHz UHF — fixed/mobile comms, radiolocation, nav. satellite
F 3 - 4 GHz SHF — radiolocation
G 4 - 6 GHz SHF — fixed/mobile comms, radiolocation
H 6 - 8 GHz SHF — fixed/mobile satellite
I 8 - 10 GHz SHF — radiolocation
J 10 - 20 GHz SHF — fixed/mobile comms, radiolocation
K 20 - 40 GHz SHF, EHF — fixed/mobile satellite, radiolocation
L 40 - 60 GHz EHF — fixed/mobile satellite, radiolocation
M 60 - 100 GHz EHF — fixed/mobile satellite, radiolocation
N 100 - 200 GHz US Military / SACLANT
 More about NATO frequencies

In the United States (US), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) uses its own designators for the frequency bands that are used for covert listening devices and surveillance. The following CIA band designators and frequency ranges are currently known, along with some examples.

Band Frequency Examples
0 230-260 MHz SRT-57
1 260-320 MHz SRT-52, SRT-91, SRT-90
2 320-380 MHz Easy Chair, SRT-56, SRT-91, SRT-90, SRT-SP
3 380-470 MHz -
4 1000-1300 MHz -
5 1300-1600 MHz SRT-107, SRT-52-H, SRT-56-H
6 1600-1900 MHz -
 More about CIA frequencies

  1. Peter Anker, Wegwijs in Frequentieland
    Visited February 2023.

  2. Wikipedia, Communication with submarines
    Visited February 2023.

  3. NATO Joint civil/military Frequency Agreement (NJFA) 2002
    NATO, 2 December 2002. Unclassified.

  4. International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
    Visited 29 January 2024.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 21 March 2012. Last changed: Sunday, 05 May 2024 - 09:46 CET.
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