Skytrac SATCOM solution climbs aboard French H160Ms
Airbus Helicopters has selected the SDL-700 SATCOM system from Canadian company Skytrac for inclusion with the French Joint Light Helicopter (HIL) programme.
HIL will see the H160M replace five helicopter types currently operated by the French armed forces (SA 341/342 Gazelle, Alouette III, AS 365 Dauphin SP and AS 555 Fennec), with the defence procurement agency DGA ordering 169 helicopters in December 2021.
The new platform will be designated 'Guépard' (Cheetah). Deliveries will begin in 2027 and the aircraft will be shipped in batches.
Skytrac announced on 12 July that the H160Ms will be ‘factory-equipped’ with the SDL-700 for broadband Low Earth Orbit satellite connectivity.
SDL-700 is a SATCOM terminal, data acquisition, and onboard server system that uses the Iridium Certus broadband connectivity service to provide up to 704Kbps of bandwidth via a high-gain antenna.
A dual-element GPS antenna will also be installed aboard the H160M
Altogether, these technologies will enable ‘live video streaming, image and large file transfer, satellite voice, text, and Push-to-Talk (PTT), and Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) automation,’ said Jan van der Heul, VP of sales at Skytrac.
More from Defence Helicopter
Royal Navy helicopter crews transfer control of UAS in European first
Using technology supplied by QinetiQ, two Royal Navy helicopter crews successfully exchanged control of a UAS while in flight.
Leonardo wins Canadian helicopter upgrade programme
The upgrade contract will ensure that the Candian helicopters are compliant with future technological requirements.
Guatemala receives Bell Subaru helicopters
The latest version of the Bell 412 helicopter has improved performance and weight capacity and will support Guatemala in various missions.
Algeria expresses interest in AW249 while AW139 deal remains in limbo
Leonardo and Algeria hope to seal the AW139 deal in 2023 while Italy and the North African country further strengthen defence ties.
Nigeria to receive new attack helicopters
The Nigerian Air Force is to receive more than 50 attack air assets to strengthen its ability to fight insecurity within its borders.
Royal Navy upgrades Merlin helicopters
The Royal Navy's amphibious helicopters have received an improved defensive aid suit and Merlin pilots can now train in a synthetic training environment.