Inmarsat’s Global Xpress ‘exceeds expectations’ in Royal Australia Air Force trials

The new Ka-Band SATCOM fitted to a C-130J Hercules A97-448 from No. 37 Squadron.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) service as part of an ongoing trial to develop new ways for air mobility aircraft to support their embarked forces.

In a six-month trial concluding this December, the RAAF is utilising GX via a Honeywell JetWave™ Ka-band satellite communication system on board a C-130J Hercules transport aircraft.

At in-air VIP trials in Canberra on 5 and 6 September, 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, Vice 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.

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. As we continue to support the trial, we are looking forward to the successful results in December and that we can help the RAAF in their goal of establishing a Fifth Generation Air Force.”

The trial is being conducted with support from industry partners Airbus Group Australia Pacific, Honeywell, and L-3 Communications, as well as the Australian Government Defence Department’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.