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Inmarsat Government Demonstrations Of L-Tac Service

Spectra SlingShot displayed on the Inmarsat stand at the SOFINS 2023 French Special Forces Exposition [©Bob Morrison]

Inmarsat Government completes cross-country demonstrations of L-Tac Service with L3Harris, Thales, Spectra Group and Collins Aerospace.

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Press Release, Reston VA, 11 April 2023: Live demonstrations with L3Harris, Thales Defense and Security Inc., Spectra Group and Collins Aerospace showcase latest L-band Tactical Radio Capabilities for US Government Customers, including the latest innovation that allows global service on demand.

Inmarsat Government, the leading provider of secure, global, resilient, mission-critical telecommunications to the US government, today announced it successfully completed cross-country, multi-site demonstrations of Inmarsat’s L-band Tactical Radio (L-TAC) service. The multi-site demonstration was conducted from Inmarsat Government’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia, as well as locations in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Fort Liberty, North Carolina.

The demonstration proved the ability of L-TAC to augment existing DoD UHF SATCOM capabilities globally by scaling to a large number of users over a vast coverage area. This includes the ability to extend all L-TAC nets to dislocated, major headquarters locations that could be located anywhere in the world utilising digital, RF-Over-IP technology.

The award-winning L-TAC service delivers global, satellite-based beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications at fixed sites and on the move (COTM) for Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) radio users. Delivered via Inmarsat’s ELERA L-band network, the L-TAC capability works across multiple radio manufacturers and on new or legacy radios to enable seamless communications across radios built to operate BLOS or non-BLOS, using the same keys, waveforms or even in the clear.

During multiple live demonstrations, Inmarsat Government and its partners showcased L-TAC functionality and interoperability utilising six differing radio types provided by partners L3Harris, Thales Defense and Security, Inc., and Collins Aerospace.

  • L3Harris demonstrated the ability to operate L-TAC via its embedded L-TAC software operating on the L3Harris AN/PRC-163 and AN/PRC-167 radios as well as utilising the Spectra Group Slingshot appliqué operating on the AN/PRC-117G radio. L3Harris also supported an L-TAC data net demonstration which showcased Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) functionality across all three demonstration sites.
  • Thales Defense and Security, Inc. provided multiple AN/PRC-148 radios operating with Spectra Group L-TAC appliqués in support of the demonstration operating in both plain and cypher text mode across all three demonstration sites. Thales Defense and Security, Inc. supported a plain text demonstration of the Collins Aerospace ARC-210 aero radio – successfully demonstrating interoperability between the air and ground domains utilising its AN/PRC-148 radio.
  • Collins Aerospace showcased the AN/PRC-162 Networked Communications Ground Radio and the ARC-210 aero radio at the Reston, Virginia demonstration site. The Collins Aerospace demonstration included air to ground domain operations, and the ability to extend L-TAC BLOS communications to an additional AN/PRC-162 radio operating in SINCGARS mode.

Demonstration participants experienced how L-TAC, enabled by Spectra Group’s easy to use and highly reliable Slingshot capability, allows UHF and VHF to communicate with each other seamlessly. All partner companies highlighted how L-TAC creates a unique, high-performance solution that can augment the existing Department of Defense (DoD) UHF legacy SATCOM system and its replacement constellation, the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS).

Government users also glimpsed the latest L-TAC innovation that allows global service on demand, providing them with rapid and responsive service activation, as well as digital RF-based, radio frequency over Internet protocol (RFoIP) to support remote operation of L-TAC channels globally.

Walt Moffitt, Chief Architect, Inmarsat Government, said “US Government and Allied customers are actively utilising L-TAC to support their missions on land, in the air and at sea around the world.

“These live demonstrations provide us with the opportunity to showcase our newest innovative solutions and highlight how these capabilities scale to accommodate customers’ real-world operational challenges, today and in the future.

“We are grateful to our partners at L3Harris, Thales Defense and Security Inc., Spectra Group, and Collins Aerospace for their support and participation in this demonstration.”

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