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Dubai Airshow 2021: Honeywell offers JetWave MCX SATCOM customer demos

13th November 2021 - 09:26 GMT | by Tim Martin in London

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Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130J Commando II aircraft will be equipped with Honeywell's JetWave MCX. (Photo: 27th Special Operations Wing)

Following release of its new JetWave MCX SATCOM solution, Honeywell hopes that new customer demonstrations in Dubai will lead to orders.

Honeywell will offer prospective military customers a firsthand look at the company’s new JetWave MCX Ka-Band SATCOM solution aboard a Boeing 757 airliner during the Dubai Airshow on 14-20 November.

Designed primarily for fixed-wing operators and those involved in ISR and CSAR missions, the high-speed MCX can connect multiple mission systems or electronic devices with ground stations or command posts, letting aircrew send or receive high-definition streaming data, messages or files.

Honeywell company literature states that JetWave MCX connects to Ka-band networks such as Inmarsat Global Xpress, enabling high throughput and high reliability with more than 2,000 JetWave systems currently in use across defence, air transport and business aviation markets.

Alongside a Ka-Band networking unit, MCX uses three other pieces of hardware; a fuselage mounted antenna, a block up converter and a modem manager. 

‘MCX is the next evolution [of the JetWave product line] that uses enough common hardware to allow forces to talk with one another with a high data exchange rate,’ said James Schaan, senior director defence aftermarket EMEAI at Honeywell.

‘It greatly expands the mission capability of legacy platforms too.’  

Honeywell will use a company-owned 757 aircraft to host customer demonstrations in Dubai, following similar demonstrations with customers in the UK, Spain and Italy, according to Schaan.  

‘Initial interest has been great with MCX having already been adopted by the US Air Force,’ he told Shephard.

Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130J Commando II aircraft are to be equipped with MCX as part of a wider Airborne Mission Networking (AbMN) secure communications suite contracted to Sierra Nevada Corporation. AbMN is designed to improve interoperability between SOF, additional US and allied platforms.

‘The US Air Force tends to be early adopters of solutions and their US allies usually follow fairly closely behind both because a concept has been proven and then within the scope of interoperability, [new buyers follow],’ said Schaan.

In terms of MCX product development, he explained that Honeywell will continue to focus on being able to transfer more data at faster rates and as antenna, power and transmission capabilities allow.

‘Frequencies are set by government entities, so they are pretty well defined, but there’s [room for] cleaning up data on aircraft before it is retransmitted up or down from satellites to a ground station,’ Schaan added.  

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