Insight | A new breakthrough for mission performance


A new breakthrough for mission performance


Next-generation GX satellites to increase steerable capability

U.S. government users extensively employ Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) satellite Military (Mil) Ka-band steerable antennas for land, sea and air missions. These antennas provide high-performance service and support operations across the entire field of view of the hosting satellite. They address previously unmet needs, while delivering high data rates, an unmatched level of security, nearly seamless coverage and full, confidential control of a resource for systems deployed worldwide.

This is why we are proud to announce that our next-generation GX satellites will significantly expand our Mil Ka-band steerable capability, starting in 2023. The total number of user-steerable antennas in orbit will increase from 28 to 42 for government users around the world – including over the Arctic region.

The expansion of our unique service offering will allow authorized military users to access secure, reliable and high-performance wideband capacity to support mobile assets across the satellite field of view.

Specifically, Inmarsat U.S. government customers will benefit from the following investments and enhancements:

  • The advanced Ka-band payloads on Inmarsat’s sixth generation satellites, GX6A, which successfully launched on 22 December, 2021, and GX6B which will launch in 2023, will add further depth to GX coverage with targeted spot beams. Each payload also carries two Mil Ka-band user-steerable antennas, delivering greater capacity, flexibility and coverage.
  • The award-winning GX Arctic payloads, GX10A & 10B, will cover the entire Arctic Circle and bring interoperable Mil Ka-band steerable capability and are scheduled to launch in 2023, complementing military satellite resources in the region.
  • The next generation of GX satellites, GX7, 8 & 9, are scheduled to commence launching in 2024. They represent the next chapter of highly agile, flexible and secure satellite and ground infrastructure optimized for global mobility. These programmable Ka-band satellites provide the ability to form 1000s of beams across the field of regard of the satellite including mil band beams and will also include two user-steerable antennas per satellite that operate across the field of view of the satellite.  These advanced features will enable more responsive and cost-effective capacity scaling and seamless integration into both the existing and planned GX network.

Users will access these new Inmarsat satellites using a rich portfolio of best-in-class, Inmarsat type approved terminal solutions from industry-leading manufacturers, as well as Wideband Global SATCOM system (WGS) approved terminals.

The new GX and Mil Ka-band capabilities will be compatible with existing terminals and services, ensuring that Inmarsat customers benefit from the network’s increased capacity using their current devices while protecting their connectivity investments.

GX is the first and only seamless mobile commercial wideband service available worldwide. Since 2015, GX has set the gold standard for reliable communications, assured worldwide mobile connectivity and interoperability. If you would like to know more about how Inmarsat and GX can help your agency’s users more efficiently and effectively perform day-to-day tasks and achieve mission-critical goals, please contact us.

About the author

Steve Gizinski is Inmarsat Vice-President, Special Programs, U.S. Government Business Unit, providing focused support to the Special Operations, Intelligence and aero/UAV customer communities.

Steve brings to this role 30 years of in-depth experience overseeing mission-critical technology efforts for commercial, intelligence, and U.S. Department of Defense customers. Prior to joining Inmarsat, Steve was the President and CEO of CVG, Inc., a SATCOM start-up and before that held a variety of management positions at Northrop Grumman, Hughes Space and Communications and Lockheed Martin.