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Honeywell Brings High-Speed Connectivity To C-17 Aircraft

Honeywell has been selected to provide the JetWave satellite communications system for 70 C-17 aircraft as a part of the Fixed Installation Satellite Antenna program for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The beyond-line-of-sight communications system will support and improve the en route communication capabilities for the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. JetWave’s Ka-band hardware and Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network combine to deliver the most extensive global coverage for a reliable command-and-control link, including over water, on nontraditional flight paths and in remote areas.

The initial order of 10 JetWave systems will be delivered to the U.S. DoD by June 2019, and the overall program runs through 2021. Booz Allen Hamilton is the primary contractor on the project.

“Honeywell is driving the era of the Connected Aircraft for military operators, and broadband connectivity anywhere on the globe is now a mission-critical requirement in the modern battlespace,” said Steven Williams, vice president, Defense Americas, Honeywell Aerospace. “The United States military has been at the forefront of connectivity technologies. JetWave supports real-time situational awareness for the aircrew, soldiers on board, and ground-based command leadership, ultimately enabling better decision-making and enhancing safety.”

Honeywell’s JetWave satellite communications system allows users to connect to the Inmarsat Global Xpress network, which delivers Ka-band satellite coverage around the globe. This provides real-time weather, video conferencing, large file transfer, encryption capabilities, in-flight briefings, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance video and secure communications.

“The system’s reliable connection allows the aircraft to transform into a mobile communication hub en route to the battlefield, even in high-traffic areas,” said Steve Hadden, senior director, Defense Connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace. “JetWave has the bandwidth to support multiple users communicating and sharing sensor data to ensure mission-critical information can be transmitted at every step of the mission.”

Honeywell reached a similar agreement in 2017 with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to provide a fuselage-mount antenna on a C-130J Hercules military transport aircraft. That agreement was expanded in April 2019 as the RAAF announced plans to include JetWave on five additional Hercules aircraft.

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