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RAAF to equip some C-130Js with upgraded satcom suite

28 April 2019
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A Ka-Band satcom antenna and suite on board a Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft as part of the wider Plan Jericho effort. Source: Commonwealth of Australia

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will equip half of its fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules airlifters with an upgraded satellite communications (satcom) suite.

Under the upgrade, which was announced by the Department of Defence (DoD) on 29 April, six of the RAAF’s 12 C-130J-30 aircraft will be fitted with a Honeywell Ka-Band sitcom antenna and suite by 2022. As noted by the service, the decision to begin rolling out the high-speed communications system later this year follows a successful trial that was launched aboard one aircraft in 2017.

The system enables streaming of high-definition video and supports complex mission planning while the aircraft is in flight, and is geared at improving the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF’s) ability to respond to a crisis. The RAAF’s 12 C-130J Hercules already carry L-Band satcom, which permits global voice communications and data transfer.

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