Air-mobile speech communication applications share robustness and noise immunity requirements with other mobile applications. The quality requirements are stringent, especially in the cockpit where air safety is involved. Based on these considerations, a decision was made to test an intermediate data rate such as 8.0 and 9.6 kb/s as proven technologies. A number of vocoders and codec technologies were investigated at rates ranging from 2.4 kb/s up to and including 9.6 kb/s. The proven vocoders operating at 2.4 and 4.8 kb/s lacked the noise immunity or the robustness to operate reliably in a cabin noise environment. One very attractive alternative approach was Spectrally Encoded Residual Excited LPC (SE-RELP) which is used in a multi-rate voice processor (MRP) developed at the Naval Research Lab (NRL). The MRP uses SE-RELP at rates of 9.6 and 16 kb/s. The 9.6 kb/s rate can be lowered to 8.0 kb/s without loss of information by modifying the frame. An 8.0 kb/s vocoder was developed using SE-RELP as a demonstrator and testbed. This demonstrator is implemented in real time using two Compaq 2 portable computers, each equipped with an ARIEL DSP016 Data Acquisition Processor.