Under the contract, which is not in an amount that is material to Elbit Systems, Elbit Systems SAR and Data Links will be Hyundai’s sole subcontractor for the production and delivery of the SPLB module kit, and Hyundai was also granted a license to assemble, test, maintain and repair the AN/PRC-648 in the Republic of Korea.
The AN/PRC-648 is an advanced over-the-horizon Cospas-Sarsat Personal Locator Beacon intended for non-combat SAR missions, when training or flying over friendly territory. A triple beacon enables transmitting distress signals over all the internationally recognized emergency frequencies, including the Cospas-Sarsat protocol and complying with the requirements of C/S T.001 and T.007, as well as STANAG 7007.
Another important feature is the integral voice transceiver offering multichannel VHF/UHF resources. An optional built-in voice synthesizer enables transmitting position coordinates over the selected voice frequencies. An embedded GPS receiver provides for automatic position reporting, for geolocation with accuracy better than 10 meters. GPS position coordinates can be transmitted as a Cospas-Sarsat message.
Carried in aircrew’s emergency vest, the AN/PRC-648 SPLB is designed to provide ultra-reliable performance in severe environments. The deceptively simple user interface enables single-handedly selecting and operating all the features, even while wearing gloves.
One of the very few PLBs in the market allowing for a variety of modes of activation, the AN/PRC-648 has an internal G-switch that automatically activates the beacon upon aircrew bailout, while a lanyard-actuated magnetic switch provides for additional mechanical and manual activation options.
A recently incorporated enhancement is a highly sensitive water sensor attachment, which automatically activates the beacon on contact with water. This feature allows using the AN/PRC-648 for naval applications. A specially designed deep-pressure container, tested for water tightness down to 200 meters, provides for submarine applications as well.