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.

During the event, 3rd MLR marines explained to Janes how LEO satcom was being used to enhance interoperability with coalition partners, using a Space X Starlink user terminal as an example.

Members of the unit's Communications Company described “maritime, expeditionary, and personal” variants of the terminal, in addition to commercial and military versions, which could support data throughput up to 250 Mbps and 500 Mbps, respectively.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/usmc-explores-operational-use-of-low-earth-orbit-satcom

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

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