AN/WSC-3 and AN/WSC-5 satellite communications
Notes: One of the most successful shipboard communications systems ever; the AN/WSC-3 equips a massive number of USN and USCG warship classes. It has also been sold as a stand-alone product to several foreign nations and has further spread through the sale of decommissioned USN ships.
The visible component is a trainable dish antenna, the OE-82 as seen above. The antenna itself is often mistakenly referred to as the whole system; this is inaccurate as the term “AN/WSC-3” implies a huge number of interrelated electronics; on the other hand; it’s possible (as in American SSNs) to use AN/WSC-3 without OE-82.
AN/WSC-3 operates in 7000 available channels of the UHF band. Secure and non-secure voice; along with coded pulse transmissions are possible. A unique feature is that two AN/WSC-3 ships within an electronic line-of-sight to each other can directly communicate without a satellite.
A wide variety of versions have been manufactured, including AN/WSC-3(V)8 which was the initial USCG version, AN/WSC-3(V)9 which can also interface with the USAF’s communications network, and the latest AN/WSC-3(V)18 which offers better security.
The designation AN/WSC-5 has been reserved and allocated to Rockwell; no details of it are known other than it also uses the OE-82.
USERS: United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom