The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is trialing the next generation in military communications via Honeywell’s JetWave Ka-band satellite communications hardware and Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network.
The RAAF is conducting a six-month trial of the JetWave hardware, including the fuselage-mount antenna (FMA), on a C-130J Hercules military transport aircraft.
At in-air VIP trials in Canberra, Australia, a truly connected battlefield evaluation — powered by JetWave — was successfully demonstrated using a number of secure military applications that previous technology couldn’t enable, including live video streaming and encrypted file transfer.
“Honeywell is proud to usher in the era of the Connected Aircraft for military operators,” said Ben Driggs, President, Americas, Honeywell Aerospace. “The RAAF has been at the forefront of connectivity technologies, seeing the importance of having this type of connectivity for operators. JetWave provided unparalleled situational awareness to the aircrew, passengers and ground-based leaders, ultimately enabling better decision making and enhanced safety.”
The RAAF’s fleet of 12 C-130Js is frequently used to deliver disaster relief in Australia and the Pacific region, as well as to support military deployments overseas.
“Staying connected is vitally important in the modern battlespace. This demonstration is the first of its type in the world and it’s been a great success,” said Wing Commander Rob Crawford, Staff Officer Capability Development for the RAAF’s Air Mobility Group. “Decision superiority is about delivering the right information, to the right people, at the right time, so better decisions can be made. JetWave allows us to do that.”
The trial is being conducted with support from industry partners Airbus Group Australia Pacific, Inmarsat Global Government, as well as the Australian Government Defence Department’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.
“This project has been in the works for a long time and is testament to the power of industry and defense working together to ensure that communications are an effective tool for delivering greater operational capability,” said Todd McDonell, Vice President of Inmarsat Global Government.