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Digital Battlespace

British Army puts SlingShot into use

26th March 2021 - 14:17 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The British Army uses SlingShot as a bolt-on capability with the Bowman VHF radio. (Photo: Spectra Group)

British Army chief information officer describes bolt-on communications capability as a ‘game changer’.

The British Army has deployed the SlingShot tactical communications system, operating with the Inmarsat L-band Tactical Satellite service, as an additional capability alongside in-service Bowman VHF radios.

The result for troops is a BLoS communications capability ‘that would otherwise have only been available to more specialist units’, SlingShot manufacturer Spectra Group claimed in a 25 March announcement.

Maj Gen Jonathan Cole, Director of Information and CIO of the British Army, described SlingShot as a ‘game changer’ and ‘a fantastic addition to our communications inventory’.

SlingShot can be integrated with in-service UHF and VHF tactical communications systems to extend the range of radios from 30km to 1,000 km ‘on the move in all conditions’, the company added.

As well as BLoS voice, SlingShot includes a data capability with situational awareness tools, GPS tracking, reporting and other data messaging, without the requirement for ground-based LoS re-broadcasting infrastructure that requires the deployment of more troops.

Troops also travel lighter, Spectra claimed, as they no longer need to carry Bowman and UHF tactical SATCOM radios.

‘Both can now be carried out using the same radio,’ the company noted, adding that omnidirectional antennas with SlingShot enable communications on the move in real time. 

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