Military satellite communications kit installed on the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth provided vital connectivity during the ship’s sea trials ahead of its arrival in Portsmouth in August.
The two Airbus SCOT (Satellite Communications Onboard Terminal) terminals linked the ship − via the hardened Skynet 5 military satellites in geostationary orbit − to allow the crew and Aircraft Carrier Alliance to capture trials data and maintain the information flow back ashore. This enabled key data to be transmitted as the trials progressed.
Richard Franklin, head of secure communications at Airbus Defence and Space, said: ‘‘It was of the utmost importance to be able to install the satellite communications for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first voyage. We are proud to support the future operations of this great warship and its 1,600 crew members, thanks to our constellation providing the highest reliable satellite communications even in the most severe conditions worldwide.’’
The SCOT communications system on board HMS Queen Elizabeth consists of two 2.2m antennas, the largest antenna of the SCOT family, as well as the Full Maritime Terminal system. Airbus has been designing and producing military high-grade naval terminals and systems for more than 40 years, with in excess of 300 SCOT terminals fitted to more than 40 warship classes in that period. Systems are currently operating with 13 navies.
Airbus owns and operates the hardened Skynet X-band satellite constellation of seven satellites and the ground network to provide all beyond-line- of-sight communications to the UK Ministry of Defence.
The constellation also offers global military coverage.d