From June to December 2017, the Royal Australian Air Force is trialling the use of a Ka-band satellite communication (SATCOM) antenna and suite onboard a C-130J Hercules transport aircraft.
CAPTION: Flying Officer Josh Suh, Logistics Officer with Headquarters Air Mobility Group – Capability Development Cell, connects to the Ka-Band SATCOM during a technology-demonstrator trial.
This SATCOM system provides greater bandwidth than previous systems fitted to the RAAF’s Hercules fleet, and allows live-streaming and transfer of large files while in flight.
Under Air Force’s Plan Jericho, opportunities are being pursued to bring integrated and networked systems to the Defence workforce, with the intent of this SATCOM trial being to develop new ways for air mobility aircraft to support their customers.
The trial was conducted through support from industry partners in Airbus Group Australia Pacific, Inmarsat, Honeywell, and L-3 Communications, as well as Defence’s own Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.
It is envisaged that the system will allow RAAF ‘customers’ – such as a special-forces tactical assault group – in the back of the aircraft to send and receive mission-critical data and updates on the move.
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