Finding a way to deliver results with SATCOM of the future

17 December 2015

Jim Mitchell, VP of Boeing Satellite Services

  • aviation

  • global-xpress

Working closely over the years with our many U.S. government customers, we at Boeing have repeatedly heard about mission needs and capabilities required to enhance performance in the field.

As technology and warfare evolve, there is significant contention for the limited satellite communications (SATCOM) resources available to the end user. Our team understands the unique challenges and is responding to the requirements of the various programs and platforms that have bandwidth needs in a radio frequency (RF) – contested environment.

Since we’ve been building state-of-the art space and communication systems for military, commercial and scientific uses for the better part of five decades, our team knew which elements that we had to consider in addressing electronic countermeasures, Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS) navigation, redundancy, survivability, and communications. Our analysis also identified a number of current and developing capabilities from potential adversaries that threaten the operating paradigm unless we create appropriate countermeasures.

Our focus in creating a solution to communications in adverse environmental and weather conditions has been first on hardware – in some cases software-definable, SATCOM modems capable of fast-frequency hopping under direction of control stations or teleports. A second focus has been on SATCOM architecture that enables hopping over a very wide bandwidth.


The service on the Inmarsat-5 satellite constellation is the best example of a worldwide accessible link which can be used to provide a very high level of anti-jam protection, strong enough to defeat known threats, without the need to tax the advanced extremely high frequency (AEHF) architecture or launch new satellites.

Multiple satellite users across the military spectrum are seeking the ability to communicate beyond line of sight (BLOS) in the face of a threat of intentional interference or jamming. With Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network now a reality, we are working with these end users to identify how the new Global Xpress constellation can meet these needs.

Now more than ever, in an increasingly-complex global environment, the proliferation of SATCOM-enabled command and control weapons systems has created a greater level of dependence on the availability of SATCOM services.

At Boeing, we understand the gap in the current capabilities, and are deeply committed to delivering a solution that utilizes the Global Xpress network. This solution will rival the existing systems in anti-jamming capability, but with exponentially greater bandwidth to support very high data rates. We are confident that Global Xpress will allow us to provide significant protection to support critical missions.

The unique capabilities of the partnership between Inmarsat and Boeing ensure customer service never before offered by a commercial global constellation. Boeing Commercial Satellite Services (BCSS) is proud to be the leading provider of Inmarsat’s military Global Xpress services.

About the author

Jim Mitchell

Jim Mitchell is Vice President of Boeing Commercial Satellite Services. As the leader of this services unit within Boeing Satellite Systems International, he oversees a team of sales, marketing, technical and customer service personnel responsible for the development of innovative solutions for satellite customers by marketing commercial satellite telecommunications services to the U.S. government and other satellite users.

Previously, Mitchell was director of Business Development for Commercial Satellite Programs, part of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. There, his primary focus was on developing a long-term hosted payload strategy and implementation plan. In August 2010, Boeing announced the formation of a distribution partnership with a global satellite service provider, Inmarsat.

Mitchell has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from University of Chicago, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

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