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Collins Aerospace awarded contract for BLoS satellite communications pod

11th August 2023 - 10:17 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Commercial satellite systems such as Starlink will seamlessly link with fighter jets under a pod being developed by Collins Aerospace. (Image: SpaceX)

Collins Aerospace has been awarded a $36 million contract to develop and demonstrate a platform-agnostic BLoS satellite communications pod for the USAF Research Laboratory (USAFRL).

The pod is designed to provide warfighters with resilient, high bandwidth, low latency communications and data directly to the cockpit. It will bring together both commercial and military satellites and provide increased resiliency to a host of aircraft.

A key aspect to the pod is that it is designed to be agnostic and suitable for use on any platform and communicate via a range of vendors.

According to a company statement: ‘The pod utilises an existing airframe structure that is already certified for captive carry-on multiple platforms. Work on the contract is underway and we expect to deliver [the] first unit(s) by 2025.

‘Collins will leverage ongoing work under the Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI) contracts as well as our larger company experience of developing SATCOM terminals.’

A range of contracts have been awarded to several companies since DEUCSI was launched by USAFRL in 2017 and is designed to develop ‘path-agnostic communications’ enabled by ‘resilient, high-bandwidth, high-availability USAF communications and data-sharing capabilities.’

In October 2021, USAFRL awarded L3Harris a $5.7 million contract to integrate a low-Earth orbit (LEO) terminal into rotary-wing aircraft to further advance aerial communications capability under DEUCSI.  

In September, 2020 Raytheon Intelligence & Space was awarded a $13.1 million contract aimed at connecting military jets to emerging commercial satellite internet constellations in LEO.

The Shephard News Team


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