UHF Commercial Band UpgradeKingstone, Herefordshire, UK. 20 July 2023. Spectra Group, the provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems has expanded the capability of its battle proven SlingShot Tactical Operations Centre System (STOCS) to include the low UHF commercial band (410– 440Mhz) thereby increasing the flexibility and utility of this robust and reliable SlingShot system.

The concept for STOCS was born from a specialist military user’s requirement to remote the antenna away from the user’s radio, such as in a tactical headquarters/operations room, to enhance the user’s protection or where it was required due to the configuration of a mobile platform.  First launched in October 2020, the STOCS hardware consists of a hub, power unit, cable reel and antenna which is British built to military standards and hence ruggedized and weatherproofed (IP67) to enable the user to leave it in a more exposed position, without any risk of damaging the electronics due to adverse weather.

Since its launch, over 120 specialist and regular units across land, sea and air domains from over ten different countries globally (including NATO members) have purchased and operationally proven the benefits of adding STOCS to their SlingShot portfolio.  When fitted it allows users to maximise all the existing benefits of Spectra Group’s award winning and combat proven SlingShot – quickly, efficiently and securely communicating beyond line of sight (BLOS) and, if needed, while on the move (COTM) while at the same time having the flexibility to operate the radio up to 35 meters from the antenna.  In partnership with Inmarsat’ L-TAC satellite link service for the last 10 years, there are now over 7000 SlingShot systems in use with government forces globally, all capitalizing on the capability to create strategic communications for secure voice and data, without the need to purchase new radios and hence minimising the training burden for security forces. The inclusion of commercial band UHF to the existing military VHF/UHF capability therefore significantly enhances Slingshot’s interoperability and flexibility in deployment, for all types of organisation requiring secure rapidly deployable satellite communications in austere environments around the world.

Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra Group said: “we pride ourselves at Spectra Group in delivering reliable and secure communications to those that need it most in the most austere and demanding of locations.  The addition of commercial band UHF to the STOCS capability is just another innovation to meet our customer’s operational demands and increases the overall SlingShot offering. The design follows the remainder of the SlingShot family in that it is extremely simple for the user to set up, operate and requires no configuration.”