Global Xpress ‘Exceeds Expectations’ in Royal Australian Air Force trials


In December 2017, The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) completed a successful trial of the Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) service as part of their ongoing mission to develop new ways for air mobility aircraft to support their embarked forces.

During the six-month trial the RAAF utilised GX via a Honeywell JetWaveTM Ka-band satellite communication system on board a C-130J Hercules transport aircraft. The trial culminated with an in-air VIP demonstration where the service was demonstrated using a number of applications including secure, live video streaming and encrypted file transfer

‘Performed flawlessly’

Following the demonstration, Air Vice Marshal Warren McDonald, Australian Defence Force Chief of Joint Capabilities, commented on GX performance: “This exceeds expectations, is future and customer-focused, and performed flawlessly.”

The RAAF is transforming itself for the information age, working with the Australian Army and Navy to ensure they deliver a networked future joint force across the spectrum of air, space, electromagnetic and cyber. Under the RAAF’s Plan Jericho, opportunities are being pursued to bring integrated and networked systems to the defence workforce.

Todd McDonell, President of Inmarsat Global Government, said: “This project has been in the works for a long time and is testament to the power of industry and defence working together to ensure that communications are an effective tool for delivering greater operational capability.”

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GX for Government

The global Ka-band network built with government customers’ specific needs in mind.

There will be more emphasis placed on the joint force – bringing together different land, air, sea, intelligence, electronic warfare, cyber and space capabilities so the ADF can apply more force more rapidly and more effectively when called on to do so. 

Defence White Paper 2016

Transformative technology

Global Xpress was designed with government users in mind and is the first and only end-to-end high-throughput commercial wideband network delivering worldwide service. It is gratifying to hear that we have delivered upon the expectations of the RAAF. Inmarsat are proud to be able to play an important role in helping the RAAF in their goal of establishing a Fifth Generation Air Force.

The trial was conducted with support from industry partners Airbus Group Australia Pacific, Honeywell, and L3 Communications, as well as the Australian Government Defence Department’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.