L-TAC

Robust BLOS mobile communication augmentation

Inmarsat’s award-winning L-TAC service offers global, satellite-based, beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications on the move (COTM) for UHF and VHF radio users. Using standard tactical radios and field-proven kits from Spectra Group (UK) Limited (SlingShot®), L-TAC (L-band Tactical Satellite) enables users to operate secure voice and data circuits on their existing radios throughout any operating area without requiring additional user-provided terrestrial infrastructure. The service is implemented using a single hop through the Inmarsat-4 satellite system via directly connected L-band uplinks and downlinks, giving users the same experience as Ultra High Frequency (UHF)/ Very High Frequency (VHF) communications, but through a cost-effective L-band satellite channel. The service supports military and civilian operations for several applications, including aviation, vehicle, maritime and manpack. Spectra Group recently introduced a lower-profile, vehicle-mount antenna supporting on-the-move L-TAC operations.

The service offers a combination of reliable voice and data connectivity that is available globally, independently of local infrastructure. It is also quick to set up, providing a fully configured solution, which needs minimal user intervention before deployment.

Voice and data BLOS
Achieve beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) communications without having to re-equip or re-train. By converting in-service UHF and VHF radios into SATCOM devices, SlingShot delivers BLOS voice and data communications – and extends rangefrom tens to hundreds of thousands of miles.
COTM
SlingShot has Manpack, Vehicle, Maritime and Aviation configurations. The omni-directional antennas mean that communications on-the-move (COTM) is truly effective.Vehicle testing has been successful at speeds in excess of 80mph, with no loss of signal or quality, and maritime speeds of 40 knots, with high-force turns that have been reached with no loss of service.
Radio agnostic and transparent
Converts in-service UHF & VHF radios to L-band SATCOM, enabling interoperability between agencies without any change to in-service equipment or security. The radio operates in exactly the same way as it does in line- of-sight mode, providing a significant range extension. Depending on the satellite option chosen, this could be many thousands of miles within a single satellite footprint or globally, if switched between satellites.
Flexible airtime leasing
Vastly reduce the cost of SATCOM by using L-band commercial SATCOM and only leasing the service in the areas you require, for the time period you require.
Infrastructure independent
With Inmarsat’s I-4 constellation of satellites, it doesn’t matter where in the world you deploy or what distance you need to maintain voice and data communications.
Small size and weight with low power consumption
Real estate on mounted platforms is limited and dismounted personnel face a great challenge if technology reduces the amount of food, water and supplies that can be carried. The SlingShot footprint is minimal and the Manpack system can take power from radio batteries, which means the operator isn’t required to purchase or carry different battery types and support different charging systems.
Complements existing military capacity
Many modern operations include coordination with multiple agencies, some of which will have different radio systems. Slingshot can bring these disparate systems together without additional re-equipping and without a heavy training tariff.
Support UHF and VHF military and commercial frequencies
VHF and UHF radios of different manufacture can use Slingshot to convert to BLOS devices that can communicate with each other. Systems are available for Manpack, Vehicle and Maritime and Aviation, meaning travelling teams can maintain contact.
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