USAF Enlists JetWave to Connect C-17

May 20, 2019 | Author: Randall Clark

The C-17 deserves a satellite communications system as global as its name and mission. The Globemaster III flies anywhere, anytime to take troops and equipment wherever they’re needed most. We’re proud that the U.S. Air Force enlisted Honeywell to provide C-17 passengers with the best global data connection flying today – enabled by our game-changing JetWave™ satellite communications system.

JetWave will provide seamless mission communications between the deploying forces in the back of the aircraft and key personnel on the ground. It will deliver a fast, reliable and secure global connection, comparable to the experience users enjoy in the office or command post.

With JetWave, troops onboard the C-17 will be able to send and receive secure messages; upload and download large encrypted files, including maps, intelligence reports and battle plans; videoconference with elements on the ground; and even stream live video of a target area provided by unmanned aerial vehicles or troops on the ground.

JetWave will give warfighters the communications capabilities they need to be successful in today’s connected military environment. Under the Fixed Installation Satellite Antenna Program we will install JetWave on 70 Air Mobility Command C-17s. In addition to a fuselage-mounted antenna, we’ll provide each aircraft with a Ka-band radio frequency unit, aircraft networking data unit and modem manager. 

All of us at Honeywell are very excited about the opportunity to showcase JetWave capabilities for the first time on a U.S. military aircraft. We also have installed the system on another military transport, the C-130J, flown by the Royal Australian Air Force. We’re actively pursuing other military platforms to improve the communications capabilities of U.S. and allied military forces.

While it will be new to the Air Force, JetWave has a long history of successful operation in the commercial world. In fact, we’ve shipped around 1,500 systems for installation on airliners and business jets so far, with more to come. Commercial operators have been uniformly impressed by the speed, reliability and availability of JetWave, which uses the Inmarsat Global Xpress satellite network and operates on the Ka-band.

The Global Xpress service offers a number of features that will help Air Mobility Command C-17s achieve their global airlift mission.

  • Data rates as high as 50 Mbps per channel give the Honeywell-Inmarsat solution the broadband capabilities to move data on and off the airplane twice as fast as the next-best alternative and 25 times faster than many systems used today.
  • Network availability routinely exceeds 95 percent, which will provide the Air Force the network reliability it needs in this age of the connected battlespace.
  • Global, seamless Ka-band coverage (except over the poles) – even on transoceanic flights – to support the global AMC mission, providing more extensive broadband coverage than any other option along with a committed information rate.

In JetWave, the Air Force has found a proven and available commercial-off-the-shelf solution to support the global airlift mission in the age of connected aerospace. Honeywell engineers continue to explore new and better ways to support the nation’s deployed forces and protect the warfighter in the air and on the field of battle. Visit us online to learn more.

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Randall Clark

RJ Clark is Director of Business Development, Defense Aftermarket Americas at Honeywell Aerospace.

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