UK RAF’s Red Arrows tour of Asia Pacific and Middle East using relocated Skynet 5A satellite
Airbus Defence and Space is delivering satellite communications to the UK Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows tour of the Asia-Pacific and Middle East which will include more than 20 flying displays.
The 12 Hawk T1s of the Red Arrows based at RAF Scampton will be performing displays and a series of flypasts across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions throughout October and November 2016.
The Skynet constellation will provide all assured voice and data communications throughout the tour, primarily through the newly relocated Skynet 5A satellite, and the Airbus Defence and Space managed anchor station in Adelaide, Australia, which was opened in May 2016, in partnership with SpeedCast.
“The tour came on air in the morning of 30th September 1000 (GMT) from their Far East location, anchored into Adelaide and by 1330 (GMT) that afternoon we had the service in and working on both voice and data,” said Richard Franklin, Head of Secure Communications, Airbus Defence and Space.
Airbus Defence and Space announced in September 2015 the successful completion of the 67,000 km move of the Skynet 5A satellite from 6° East to 95° East. The relocation was initiated to extend the Skynet constellation’s coverage and services from 115 West to 163 East, including the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific region. With the move complete, the Skynet network offers global military X-band and UHF coverage, expanding core service reach for the UK military and augmenting coalition capabilities in the region.
Airbus Defence and Space owns and operates the hardened Skynet X-band satellite constellation of 8 satellites and the ground network to provide all Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications to the UK Ministry of Defence. The contract also allows other NATO and allied governments such as members of the five-eyes community (besides UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) to use the Skynet system to augment their existing services.