Cost-effective satellite technology to enhance military communication in the field
July 9, 2013 - Inmarsat, (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has announced the successful demonstration of its L-TACTM service in vehicles travelling at speeds up to 70 mph (112 kph). This new service provides government customers with a low cost, L-band Tactical UHF Satellite (TACSAT) solution, which allows soldiers on foot or in vehicles to communicate while on-the-move using their existing UHF radios.
Available for order in July and for connectivity in August 2013, Inmarsat’s latest innovation is the next step in the expansion of L-band mobile Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) communications. The L-band service uses smaller antennas than the UHF equivalent, making it practical to offer compact, inexpensive omni-directional antennas for mounted and dismounted use. Inmarsat has partnered with Spectra to include a power supply, frequency convertor and antenna into a package called SlingShotTM.
“We have successfully demonstrated robust L-TAC communications from vehicles at speeds up to 70 mph,” commented Andy Start, president, Inmarsat Global Government. “This will have huge military utility, for example coordinating logistic convoys moving over long distances or for command and control of widely dispersed vehicle patrols manoeuvring in difficult terrain.”
David Helfgott, president, Inmarsat Government, said, “With a minimal investment on existing UHF radios, Inmarsat’s L-TAC can serve as a perfect augmentation to the UHF satellite capacity, which is scarce. L-band can fill that gap on a global seamless basis, allowing government users to access L-band when UHF is not available.”
TACSAT is in very high demand by government users as it easily and reliably extends tactical Push-to-Talk radio networks to wide area BLOS operations where existing networks are over utilized. Inmarsat’s global L-TAC service, announced earlier this year, will complement existing capacity with a single-hop, low-latency voice and data service, providing additional capacity when UHF channels are unavailable. To access the service, users require only a small, light-weight adaptor to convert their existing radio to L-band and an L-band replacement for their existing UHF antenna.
Start added, “Our small, lightweight man-pack version offers the same communications capability to soldiers on foot. Now, convoys and patrols will not have to pause while using their TACSAT, and that means improved tempo and less time being vulnerable to attack. We have received very positive feedback during the trial stage and governments around the world have already expressed keen interest in the service. L-TAC will provide a new, innovative and affordable means to gain maximum value from the investment they have made in their existing tactical radios.”
Simon Davies, Managing Director, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd commented: “The ability to use existing radios spread over long distances in the field to increase operational capabilities without straining government budgets is critical. As governments around the world review military budgets, offering a device which meets military standards, without large capital expenditure is a highly compelling offer.”
For further information
Bell Pottinger for Inmarsat
T: +44 (0)20 7861 2502
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com.
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd is a specialist telecommunication services organisation with diverse clients from the commercial, defence, education, security, and government market sectors. Spectra delivers proven, flexible and scalable services that are tailored to meet the customer’s requirements and can be delivered in any environment, worldwide. For more information please visit www.spectra-group.co.uk.