USMC explores operational use of low Earth orbit satcom

by Andrew White

The USMC's 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment showed off an LTATV equipped with Kymeta's u8 user terminal, which is able to acquire OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites to facilitate communications on the pause and on the move. (Andrew White )

The US Marine Corps (USMC) displayed a variety of emerging communications equipment during the amphibious warfare phase of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in Hawaii this week.

The display was hosted by the first Marine Littoral Regiment (MLR) to join the USMC's order of battle – 3rd MLR – which is in the process of being equipped as a “self-deployable, multidomain force” that will support partners and allies in deterring adversaries, particularly across the Indo-Pacific.

3rd MLR's Communications Company highlighted several satellite communication (satcom) user terminals, used to network ground vehicles, surface vessels, and command posts to low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations.

Commercially available LEO satcom is gaining popularity across armed forces around the world. Combat commanders see it as a way to employ primary, alternative, contingency, and emergency (PACE) communications plans, which can ensure secure and resilient connectivity, even in the face of disruption by well-equipped adversaries.

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British Army CTTP competition delayed

by Olivia Savage & James Rands

The 4GD stand at DSET 2023 – one of the members of the Alliance team headed by Lockheed Martin UK that is competing for the MoD STP CTTP contract. (Janes/James Rands)

The competition for the Strategic Training Partner (STP) under the British Army's Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP) has been delayed, Janes learnt at the 2023 Defence Simulation Education & Training (DSET) exhibition, held in Bristol from June 5 to 8.

Initially, the competition was scheduled to be announced in January 2023, but it was then delayed until April, and is now expected in September. The delay is said to be due to a reshuffle in the Cabinet Office team overseeing the competition and because of an unknown issue with the original documentation, Janes understands.

A lot of time has subsequently been lost, which some delegates believe may result in a shortened downselection period. Competitors think this timeframe may now be too short and may cause issues when the downselection of companies (from seven to two) is finalised.

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MADEX 2023: Hensoldt partners with LIG Nex1 to market persistent surveillance systems

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A mock-up of the OctoEye360 on display at MADEX 2023. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Germany-headquartered Hensoldt has partnered with South Korea's LIG Nex1 to market a line of persistent surveillance systems to the region.

The solutions are marketed under the joint venture company known as LNZ Optronics.

The early products that are marketed to the region include the OctoEye360 observation system for submarines, said a company representative who spoke to Janes at the MADEX 2023 exhibition held in Busan.

The OctoEye360 is a persistent, non-rotating panoramic observation system that can be fitted on a submarine's snorkel mast. It features eight high-resolution daylight cameras and eight uncooled thermal imagers.

“There are several upcoming submarine programmes coming up in the Asia-Pacific region. The joint venture has been created to position our products better for customers here,” said the LNZ Optronics representative who spoke to Janes .

Besides the OctoEye360, LNZ Optronics is also marketing the PANOS360 panoramic observation systems for surface vessels. Like the OctoEye360, the system employs a combination of daylight camera and thermal imagers to maintain persistent surveillance around the vessel.

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OneWeb demonstrates global connectivity platform to NCIA as part of ongoing LEO satcom evaluations

by Andrew White

During the live demonstration observed by the NCIA on 9 March, multiple laptop devices were connected to OneWeb's LEO constellation via Kymeta's Hawk u8 user terminal, which was mounted onboard a 4×4 Land Rover Discovery vehicle. (OneWeb)

The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) has disclosed details regarding its most recent evaluation of commercial low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications (satcom).

The event, which was conducted on 9 March at Eutelsat's teleport facility in Rambouillet, France, featured a live demonstration of OneWeb's Global Connectivity Platform (GCP).

Speaking to Janes on 2 June , an NCIA spokesperson said that usage of LEO satellites is dramatically increasing in satcom because of their advantages compared with geostationary ones.

“NATO has used LEO services for a long time in different flavours [and] the NCIA has been following the developments in LEO technologies closely,” the spokesperson said. “We are currently investigating potential use of the advanced capabilities in LEO satcom, such as lower latency, higher data rates, wider coverage, or smaller terminals.

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The US Marine Corps (USMC) displayed a variety of emerging communications equipment during the amphi...

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