Secure networked airborne communications
Airbus’ Network for the Sky (NFTS) is a networked airborne military communications solution that combines different communication technologies to form one resilient global mesh network, allowing aircraft to be fully part of a high-speed connected battlespace.
It provides secure and reliable connections for all mission participants – bringing together airborne assets, joint and coalition forces, and other operators – to form one resilient, high-speed global network for the delivery of seamless voice, data and video services.
Through a mix of technologies, NFTS delivers information superiority through enhanced situational awareness and enables faster, better decision-making and a more rapid response. The result is expanded interconnectivity, decreased mission risk and costs, while operational flexibility is improved by enhancing multi-mission capability, with the ability to re-task a mission as it unfolds in real time.
NFTS combines various means of communications (such as satellite constellations; tactical air-to-ground, ground-to-air and air-to-air links; voice links; 5G mobile communication cells and laser connections) and integrates them into a single global secure network.
An important opportunity for networked airborne communications is created with NFTS, as helicopters, aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) currently operate on separate networks with limited interoperability between them and other assets. NFTS emulates the experience of modern cellular networks in a secure airborne environment.
Providing connectivity throughout the entire duration of an air mission, NFTS will enable information superiority and extend the multi-mission capabilities of aircraft. Mission aircraft will have the ability, in real-time, to share applications and data stored on board via a combat cloud.
The four key pillars of NFTS – airborne equipment, airborne communications, as well as network and support services – are offered as a modular, scalable, end-to-end solution.