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Spectra Group (UK) Ltd Announces Airbus SlingShot® Partnership Extension

Spectra Group (UK) Ltd has announced an extension of the SlingShot® sales partnership with Airbus.

SlingShot is a cost-effective solution that enables secure BLOS COTM (Beyond Line Of Sight Communications On The Move) using in-service tactical radios connected to a global commercial satellite network provider.

Using SlingShot, existing tactical radios can be connected to commercial L-Band SATCOM in order to extend secure Command & Control COTM for UHF and VHF radios BLOS.  Small, lightweight and flexible, SlingShot can be used dismounted or on any transport platform, including fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, extending tactical communications to where it is needed.

SlingShot Press Images (1) With reduced cost compared to other SATCOM BLOS options, increased channel availability and minimal training burden, SlingShot is redefining tactical communications.

“The ability to communicate from anywhere to anywhere is critical in the military environment. As a leading military communications service provider, it is important for us to have a wide range of solutions in our portfolio to meet all our customers’ needs and requirements. We are pleased to partner with Spectra to offer this unique radio extension capability to complement our already strong portfolio.” said Daz Ware, Head of Sales for UK Land at Airbus.

Steff Taylor, Head of Business Development at Spectra said, “Before the development of SlingShot, military forces and government agencies were limited to line of sight tactical communications on the move.  

“Slingshot offers dedicated bandwidth for secure communications while creating a BLOS communications network that can extend over thousands of kilometres. This is a capability that Airbus will be able to offer its customers on a wider basis.

“We are thrilled to extend our strategic relationship with Airbus.  Working with their worldwide sales team to supply SlingShot, builds on the two years of successful delivery to the UK.  This relationship shows the strength and importance of SlingShot in defence and national security market places.”

Earlier this year Spectra further enhanced SlingShot by unveiling new features that are designed to enhance its growing deployment as a key asset on the modern battlefield.

The capability of SlingShot has been extended with the availability of new power options and the launch of the SlingShot Satellite Emulator (SSE) – an L-Band emulator for full offline system testing without a live satellite channel; a Universal Power Supply solution affording flexibility in power needs, as well as an AA battery cassette capable of powering the SlingShot Manpack system.

The SSE comprises a programmable test tool, permitting operators to train with the system as if it was in real-time operational use by simulating satellite connectivity without expenditure. There is no need for reconfiguration or frequency programming as it behaves as a satellite and only reacts to the incoming RF from SlingShot.  .

Mr Taylor added: “New power options for SlingShot deliver increased flexibility and even simpler configuration. The unique system for BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) COTM (Communications on the Move) for in-service tactical radios now makes deployment-planning and set-up even easier.

“As the nature of conflict changes and high-tempo, short duration, deployments become the norm; we know the onus is on us to ensure all our systems are designed for ease of use and reliability, and ideally suited to the fast-moving modern battlefield.”

The reasons for choosing SlingShot are compelling: · Simplified deployment planning when using SlingShot; accelerated configuration with enhanced troubleshooting; reduced weight of backup power using the AA battery case; increased flexibility being able to use AA batteries for manpack and UPSU for any system and even more uptime of secure BLOS COTM with reduced spares inventory and training burden.

The SSE can also be used as a training aid, so that classroom training can be performed with realistic service, allowing the user to set-up SlingShot without the need to disturb operational networks. The system can be configured to provide perfect channels or add noise to simulate operating at edge-of-beam, allowing the trainer to simulate real-time issues the user might come across while deployed operationally. All that needs doing is to ensure the supplied Transmit/Receive antennae are connected, plug it in, and it is ready for testing or training.

Spectra also participated successfully in the 2017 Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE17). AWE17 was a non-secret experiment run jointly by UK MOD departments, DE&S (Defence Equipment & Support) and DSTL (Defence Science & Technology), and this concluded with a VIP presentation at Copehill Down Village near Warminster, Wiltshire, at the end of March.

AWE17 was set up as a forum to look at ways mature technologies available from industry could solve specific problems. The process first identified potential solutions and then after a progressive series of demonstrations, tests and trials, SlingShot emerged as one of the successful technologies presented following three rounds of selection.

The aim of the final stage of the trials was to place the product into the hands of the user. British Infantry, Royal Marines and a squad from the US Army participated in level C trials, which comprised training and section exercises on Salisbury Plain and platoon exercises prior to the final company battle exercise. This entailed a company grouping being deployed for 72 hours in a tactical scenario against a peer enemy force.

Around 2,000 SlingShot units have been sold since its launch in 2013 to key users which include special forces and more than 15 armies ranging from the Americas to Europe and Africa, the Middle East, to the Far East and Australasia.

Spectra Group will be showing SlingShot for land, sea and air at DSEI, Excel London, September 12th-15th on stand S7-355


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