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03 November 2015
Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space launches XEBRA – Military satellite communications service with world’s smallest and lightest X-band terminal

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Summary

Small, lightweight, low power terminal combined with Skynet X-band satellites provides highly mobile and secure data and voice communications

Airbus Defence and Space has launched its new XEBRA (Zee-brah) X-band milsatcom service using the world’s most compact X-band terminals and the Skynet satellite network. The XEBRA service provides superior global communications mobility with high throughput for tactical and intelligence based missions using terminals weighing 5.1kg and only 23 x 25 x 8cm in size.

The Skynet satellite network consists of eight satellites and associated ground segment, and is the world’s only commercially owned military satellite communications system. Skynet provides hardened and secure communication services over X-band, a frequency band resilient to rain-fade (signal interference by precipitation) and primarily reserved for military and government users.

The XEBRA service is the first of its kind at X-Band and is ideal for transmitting full motion video via secure remote access. The compact, lightweight terminal, created in conjunction with Hughes Network Systems LLC, is backpack portable and ideally suited for missions requiring Communications on the Pause (COTP) capabilities.

The terminal operates with standard military battery packs and can deliver video conferencing or live video streaming services via secure X-band. Satellite pointing and acquisition are achieved using a built in LCD screen and adjustable stand, which allows the terminal to maintain a link even in harsh environmental conditions.

“The new XEBRA service provides users with a secure, resilient and highly mobile communications capability utilising innovative technology,” said David Kingdon Jones, Government Communications, Airbus Defence and Space. “By using our Skynet X-band military communications satellite system and joining forces with Hughes Network Systems as a terminal development partner, we are able to provide ultra-lightweight, portable and reliable communications for use in harsh and remote environments.”

Under the Skynet PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contract, Airbus Defence and Space provides all Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications to the UK Ministry of Defence. The contract also allows other NATO and allied governments to use Skynet’s services to augment their existing services and to benefit from the unique Skynet performance attributes associated with small and disadvantaged terminals, ensuring reliable and tactical communications even on the edge of cover making it ideal for naval and airborne platforms.

Find out more on XEBRA and see the terminal on the Airbus Defence and Space booth at Global Milsatcom 2015 (3-5th November).

Press contacts:

Bruno Daffix
+33 6 48 09 96 50
bruno.b.daffix@airbus.com 

Jeremy Close
+ 44 14 38 77 38 72
jeremy.close@astrium.eads.net

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