QinetiQ installs a satellite communications system on United Kingdom helicopters

FARNBOROUGH, England, 12 March 2007. QinetiQ has integrated a civil satellite communications system into several United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Joint Helicopter Force (JHC) aircraft, as part of an in-theater Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) program.

The requirement was to deliver beyond-line-of-sight voice communications capabilities that enable deployed JHC helicopters to communicate simply and efficiently with operational headquarters.

In 8 to 12 weeks (depending on the platform) QinetiQ, working closely with the JHC Identification and Communication Equipment (ICE) Integrated Project Team (IPT), went from the initial meeting to delivering this operational solution, company officials say.

The various stages included the initial feasibility study, investigating technical options, then recommending and deploying the optimum Your Link Name technology to meet the capability enhancement requirements, across the identified aircraft variants.

"Through this UOR QinetiQ has demonstrated its capability in working with customers and stakeholders to quickly provide solutions to real problems that are affecting U.K. forces' operational performance," says Andrew Sleigh of QinetiQ's defence business.

"The program was accomplished in an exceptionally short timescale, due in the main to the commitment of staff and the streamlined and cooperative approach of the stakeholders. This solution is now in-service delivering vital capability to the front-line user community."

Initial feedback from operational units using this capability show that they are extremely pleased with the results and a comment from one operational flight commander reads: "Without doubt, this has been one of the best advances for some time in helping us to get the job done."

The program brought together QinetiQ's Malvern based comms design teams and engineers staff with its system evaluation services/flight engineering services personnel based at Boscombe Down, England. Together they surveyed the aircraft, evaluated the current capabilities and roles of the platforms plus looked at the various commercially available systems available. This study determined that the maximum value would be realized by using a civil satcom based solution as it best met user requirements and this was then integrated onto the aircraft.

QinetiQ was also tasked to develop and deliver a ground based system, based on the same satcom technology, to provide in-theater end-to-end connectivity. The design and build of these units, including sourcing all ancillary components was undertaken by QinetiQ. Operator training and user documentation was also provided for the complete solution.

For more information contact QinetiQ online at www.qinetiq.com.

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