Inmarsat‘s $1.6 billion investment into its Global Xpress commercial broadband network aims to offer an integrated satellite communications architecture with global Ka-band connectivity for military users, a company executive has said.
Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, Inmarsat senior vice president of U.S. government strategy and policy, wrote in a blog post published Wednesday that Global Xpress works to support interoperability between commercial and military satcom systems.
“The unique advantage of Ka-band is that it is the only frequency where the commercial and military bands are adjacent to each other, so commercial solutions can transparently complement MILSATCOM capacity,” she said.
Cowen-Hirsch added Global Xpress is also designed to serve users from NATO and AUSCANZUKUS — a naval organization of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, U.K. and U.S. — to support international allied partnerships.
The broadband network works to aid unmanned airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms through 30 cm Ka-band antennas that are built to fit smaller airframes, blend into aerodynamic surfaces and optimize fuel efficiency, according to the blog post.
“Investments and innovation brought by the satellite industry represent an opportunity for the Department of Defense to capitalize on the availability of complementary commercial satellite systems,” Cowen-Hirsch wrote.
“This will increase the effectiveness, flexibility and redundancy of military satellite systems for intensely global AISR missions.”