Spectra Group, the specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems, has received an order for their SlingShot satellite communications system from an undisclosed European ministry of defence. The order is for specialist use by troops currently deployed on remote operations globally. This announcement coincides with DSEI taking place in London 14-17 September where Spectra Group will be exhibiting on stand H6-107.
Spectra Group’s SlingShot system is unique in that it can be integrated with in-service UHF and VHF tactical communications radios to extend the range from 30km to 1000(+) km on the move, in all conditions. By integrating SlingShot and Inmarsat’s L-TAC satellite service with in-service radios, the deployed troops have immediately gained communications capability that would otherwise not be available. In addition to Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) voice, SlingShot includes a data capability supporting critical applications such as situational awareness tools; GPS tracking; reporting and other data messaging without the requirement for ground-based line-of-sight rebroadcasting infrastructure. Enabling an extension of the in-service radios with the robust SlingShot system also means that troops do not need to carry both VHF radios (for line-of-sight) and UHF TACSAT radios (for strategic rear link). With SlingShot, a single radio can carry-out both functions. Finally, the small omni-directional antennas utilised with SlingShot provide manpack, land, sea and air platforms, with real-time Comms on the Move (COTM) rather than Comms on the Pause, as experienced with traditional TACSAT systems.
In March 2021, the British Armed Forces announced that they had equipped regular Army units with Spectra Group’s SlingShot system, as they deploy on Operations and Exercises, to enable tactical satellite communications across the area of operations. At the time, Major General Jonathan Cole, Director of Information and CIO of the British Army, said: “SlingShot is a fantastic addition to our communications inventory, delivering vital capability to deployed troops. Of particular note is the fact that the training burden is minimal as the system is effectively a ‘bolt-on’ to our current BOWMAN radios. SlingShot is a game-changer in allowing our troops to operate at reach without the additional requirement to deploy more troops to provide rebroadcast capability when operating at Battle Group level and below. I am delighted to be working with Spectra on the fielding of such an important capability”.
Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra Group, said: “We are very pleased to receive yet another order from a European specialist user group. We have seen SlingShot become a battle-winning capability used by Special Forces across the globe, but we’re delighted to see our SlingShot system now being procured for use on operations by this new customer for the first time”. He added: “The beauty of SlingShot is that it can be “plugged into” any in-service tactical radio system. Numerous Armed Forces, including the British Army, are leading the way with this kind of approach to the integration of SlingShot but we’re now seeing other global forces, including the USA, adopt a similar strategy to meet every Beyond Line Of Sight communications scenario”.