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Home > Defence Equipment News > Spectra SlingShot Satellite Communications In Mali

Spectra SlingShot Satellite Communications In Mali

SlingShot fitted to Supacat Jackal 2 deployed in Mali [image via Spectra Group]

Spectra Group SlingShot Satellite Communications deployed on Operation NEWCOMBE adds capability to UK Peacekeeping Mission in Mali.

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Press Release, Hereford, 09 June 2022: Spectra Group, a specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems, in partnership with Inmarsat, is enabling strategic communications for the UK peacekeeping mission in Mali (Op NEWCOMBE) with its award-winning SlingShot satellite communications system.

This announcement coincides with Eurosatory taking place 13-17 June in Paris. Spectra Group’s SlingShot is on display at the AADS stand (Hall 5A Booth No F-668) fitted to a protected AADS J8 Command Vehicle to demonstrate this fully integrated satellite communications capability.

Winner of the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2019, the SlingShot system is not only low in size, weight and power but revolutionary, because it can be integrated with current in-service UHF and VHF tactical communications systems. So, with minimal training and investment, you can extend radio range from 30 km to 1000(+) km and deliver true Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) and Communications on the Move (COTM) on all platforms and in all conditions with one system.

SlingShot fitted to Supacat Jackal 2 deployed in Mali [image via Spectra Group]

Op NEWCOMBE is the UK contribution to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and is in support of UK Defence Priority Outcome 3 – Enhance global security through persistent engagement and response to crises. Since October 2020, the United Kingdom has deployed a long-range reconnaissance task group, using the Supacat Jackal 2 reconnaissance vehicle, to provide detailed reconnaissance information to the UN mission, to enhance security for the Mali population and deter insurgent activity. SlingShot was developed for and is used by specialist forces globally and is operationally proven in conventional scenarios. As such, it is well suited to the demands of long-range reconnaissance in Mali, where personnel are deployed in remote locations. The use of such innovative technology as SlingShot also perfectly aligns with the UK’s Defence Strategic Enabler Objective 2 – Use of Innovation, Technology and Data.

In addition to robust BLOS voice capability, SlingShot has sufficient bandwidth to carry critical data to support essential applications such as: Situational Awareness tools; GPS tracking; reporting and other data messaging without the need for a ground-based line-of-sight re-broadcasting architecture. Finally, SlingShot’s omnidirectional antennas provide manpack, land, sea and air platforms with real-time COTM, rather than having to be static, as experienced with traditional TACSAT systems. These capabilities combine to provide a “battle winning” strategic enabler for UK forces deployed in support of UK Defence objectives, while also showcasing British innovation and technology to global defence markets.

A soldier deployed in Mali said “Operations in Mali are extremely demanding due to the harsh climate, insurgent threat and large distances to be covered over difficult terrain. Providing secure and reliable communications in such circumstances would normally be a significant challenge. However, using SlingShot to convert existing tactical radios into long-range secure sat comms for voice and data has given us the confidence to focus on delivering our primary mission.”

Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra Group, said, “We are immensely proud that SlingShot is described by our users as a battle-winning capability, and in how successful it has been in solving the communications challenges faced by both specialist and regular forces. It is truly plug and play, converting any in-service tactical radio system into a BLOS and COTM satellite communications system, with minimal training, so that users can fully focus on the task in hand.”

About Spectra Group (UK) Ltd: Spectra has a proven record of accomplishment – with over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe; elite militaries; and private enterprises of all sizes. As a dynamic, agile, security accredited organisation, Spectra can leverage this experience to deliver Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices. Spectra’s gold-level partnerships with third-party vendors ensure best value and leading edge technology is used. On 23 November 2017, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd announced that it had recently been listed as a Top 100 Government SME Supplier for 2015-2016 by the UK Crown Commercial Services.

  • Spectra Group were awarded the 5 year contact to be the UK distributor of Troposcatter COMET for US company COMTECH Systems Inc in late 2019. Comtech is a leading global provider of next-generation 911 emergency systems and critical wireless and satellite communication technologies.
  • Spectra’s CEO, Simon Davies, was awarded 2017 Businessman of the Year by Battlespace magazine.
  • Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
  • Founded in 2002, the Company is based in Hereford, UK and holds ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.

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