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Providing HAVE QUICK II secure air-to-ground communications, the AN/ARC-187 has a single package with the receiver-transmitter electronics, which is approximately 5 1/2 by 5 by 15 inches deep. This connects to a satellite or line-of-sight antenna.

It has a variety of maps and cooling fans, and different control panels as standardized by the Navy and Air Force. Additional components add data and Joint Tactical Information Distribution System capability. It is a software-defined radio compatible with the Joint Tactical Radio System program.

Aircraft equipped with it include the AC-130, C-17 Globemaster III, EC-130 COMMANDO SOLO, HC-130, HH-60G, MC-130 COMBAT TALON, MH-53 PAVE LOW and OC-135B Open Skies.