Airbus unveils NFTS airborne military communications solution

18 July 2018 (Last Updated July 18th, 2018 09:54)

Airbus has unveiled its Network for the Sky (NFTS) airborne military communications solution, which is designed to enable aircraft to be a complete part of a high-speed connected airspace.

Airbus has unveiled its Network for the Sky (NFTS) airborne military communications solution, which is designed to enable aircraft to be a complete part of a high-speed connected airspace.

The secure network solution is interoperable between aircraft, satellites, command centres and mobile units deployed on the ground or at sea.

Airbus’ NFTS will integrate a wide range of technologies such as satellite links with geostationary, medium and low Earth orbit constellations, tactical air-to-ground, ground-to-air and air-to-air links, 5G mobile communication, and laser connections into a single, resilient global secure network.

“NFTS is capable of being reconfigured at any time and prioritises exchanges based on data flows, mission objectives and available bandwidth on different links.”

Airbus Defence and Space NFTS head David Kingdon-Jones said: “NFTS aims to offer the same seamless experience that people have with their mobile phone when it switches from one network to another or from 4G to Wi-Fi without realising it, but with the reliability and cybersecurity standards of military communications.

“The difference is that, in the sky, it is not only the users who are mobile, but also the network, since aircraft themselves constitute the nodes of that network.

“Given their speed, two aircraft may only have a few seconds to exchange information that is critical for the mission.”

Offered as a modular end-to-end solution, NFTS is capable of being reconfigured at any time and prioritises exchanges based on data flows, mission objectives and available bandwidth on different links.

The communications network provides connectivity for the complete duration of air missions while enabling information sharing and extending the multi-mission capability of the aircraft.