Skynet 6A (pictured above), scheduled to be launched in 2025, will fill a capability gap while the MoD sets the requirements for the Skynet Enduring Capability. (Airbus)
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking a Narrowband Satellite System (NSS) for the Skynet Enduring Capability (SKEC).
A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), published by the MoD on 10 August, outlined a requirement for a narrowband ultra-high frequency (UHF) geosynchronous (GEO) satellite and its control system for SKEC.
A deadline for expressions of interest has been set for 20 September. The satellite must also meet NATO STANAG 4681 Ed 2 and/or MIL-STD-188-100 standards.
The SKEC space segment comprises two separate procurements, the first of which involves the acquisition of a GEO NSS. The second one seeks multiple medium-sized GEO satellites with X and Mil Ka-band payloads, which will help meet a wideband requirement, the MoD detailed.
It is expected that SKEC will provide the MoD with a next-generation satellite communications (satcom) capability. It is anticipated that the satellites will be in service until at least 2040, the MoD disclosed. The MoD also hopes to have the capability to monitor and control the platforms.
Indra to install satcom terminals for Norwegian military
07 October 2022
by Olivia Savage
Indra to implement satcom antennas (pictured) to enable the Norwegian military to access the WGS constellation directly. (Indra)
Indra was awarded a contract by the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to install satellite communication (satcom) ground segments as part of the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite constellation.
Indra plans to implement X- and Ka-band nodes (antennas), “which will act as a gateway between user terminals at various locations for the WGS constellation”, the company announced on 6 October.
These WGS-certified antennas will utilise the constellation to provide satcom services, the announcement added.
According to information disclosed by the company to Janes, the terminals will enable the Norwegian military to access the WGS constellation directly and facilitate the “sharing of satellite communication between military users”.
The company added that “these terminals are to be used by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, nevertheless, as they are WGS-certified, other end-users in the WGS constellation can acquire these terminals from Indra”.
They were unable to detail the value and delivery timeframes of the contract.
SpearUAV is developing a new, micro-tactical loitering munition with a precision-strike capability. (SpearUAV)
SpearUAV has detailed the development of an ultra-lightweight micro-tactical loitering munition (LM) for small tactical units − squad level and below − with a precision-strike capability against moving and stationary line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight targets.
A company spokesperson provided Janes with an update of this company-funded initiative that is the latest addition to its unmanned air system (UAS) capabilities, which include the Ninox 103 underwater submarine-launched and the Ninox 40 MT (micro-tactical) UASs.
The new Viper concept provides for a series of different calibre, lightweight, modular payloads, optionally recoverable, low acoustic/radar cross-section/thermal signature, folding quadcopter intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR)/LM systems housed in ruggedised, ready-to-deploy, hermetically sealed ‘smart' capsules. Each capsule is furnished with an integrated proprietary launch mechanism, and the capsule also acts as a wireless router between the encapsulated loitering system and the user command-and-control (C2)/ground station.
US Navy fast-tracks contract for MQ-9 SkyTower II airborne network extension
05 October 2022
by Richard Scott
An artist's rendering showing an MQ-9A Block 5-25 in VMU-1 colours. The SkyTower ANE pod is carried beneath the MQ-9A's left wing stores station. (NAVAIR)
The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has fast-tracked an order to provide US Marine Corps (USMC) MQ-9A Reaper unmanned air systems (UASs) with an improved airborne network extension (ANE) capability.
In a 3 October announcement, NAVAIR said it had awarded an USD8.4 million contract to multiple vendors for delivery of the SkyTower II (ST II) capability. ST II is a podded ANE solution designed to provide cross-domain communications and data relay capability for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Aircraft System Expeditionary (MUX) MQ-9A Block 5-25 Reaper Medium Altitude Long-Endurance air vehicle.