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Inmarsat Announces New Scalable L-TAC Service for Defence Market

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
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Inmarsat, (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, is expanding the availability of mobile tactical Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) communications to a broad range of new government users through the innovative exploitation of the capabilities of its L-band satellites.

 The company today announced its plan to launch L-TAC, a new L-band service, which will deliver a ‘UHF-like’ tactical satellite capability for use with existing UHF tactical radios for approved government customers at low cost.

 UHF tactical satellite capability is in very high demand by government customers because of its suitability to create Beyond-Line-of-Sight Push-to-Talk networks using tactical radios either man-portable or installed in vehicles, helicopters, ships or other mobile platforms.  Inmarsat’s L-TAC service complements this existing UHF tactical capacity, providing additional capability when UHF capacity is unavailable.   Inmarsat's powerful Inmarsat-4 constellation of satellites provides this capability across the world, with the additional benefit of supporting small antennas for BLOS communications on the move.

 To access the service, users require only a small antenna adaptor for their existing tactical radio, which replaces their existing UHF antenna.  Inmarsat has partnered with Spectra Group to develop the Slingshot™ adaptor, which is expected to be commercially available in late Q2 2013.  Designed with the soldier in mind, Slingshot™ will work with existing tactical military radios and with minimal additional training, will provide Beyond-Line-of-Sight communications without the need for additional infrastructure. Slingshot™ combined with Inmarsat’s L-TAC leased service is fully flexible and designed to meet security and reliability requirements cost-effectively.  Users will be able to lease the service for a fixed period with leases as short as one month.

 Andy Start, President, Inmarsat Global Government, said: “We are delighted to be launching this new service in partnership with Spectra. L-TAC will enable militaries to exercise greater command and control through existing tactical radios at a realistic cost with leases available for periods as short as one month at a time. The operational benefits for soldiers on the ground are enormous, providing low risk, highly resilient and easy to use connectivity independent of local infrastructure or terrain.”

 Simon Davies, Managing Director, Spectra Group commented: “This service will enable governments to provide enhanced satellite and radio communications without large capital expenditure. As governments around the world review military budgets, this is a highly compelling offer.”

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