The US satellite communications (SATCOM) company, ViaSat, has announced that its broadband terminal, the GAT-5530, was integrated onto one of the Irish Air Corp’s (IAC) new Airbus C295 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) acquired earlier this year.
Airbus’ C295 is a multirole MPA derived from the C295 military transport aircraft. Equipped with a new generation mission system, the aircraft can conduct maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) missions.
The C295 has up to six underwing hard points for weapon systems. The hard points can hold torpedoes, anti-surface missiles, mines and depth charges.
Airbus delivered two MPAs to the IAC, one in early July 2023 and the second in mid-October. The armed service employs the platform for fishery protection as well as logistics support and transport of troops and equipment, medical evacuation and air ambulances, search and rescue and a general utility role.
This integration of the Viasat GAT-5530 terminal enhances the IAC’s connectivity a range of command, control and communication (C3) mission needs.
The GAT-5530 terminal supports the entire ITU Ku- and Ka-bands, which includes 3.5 Gigahertz of commercial and military Ka-band. This multi-faceted terminal offers greater operational flexibility for military customers as they seek increased resilience with multi-frequency (Ku/Mil-Ka/Commercial-Ka), multi-orbit (GEO, MEO, LEO, HEO), multi-network communications architectures.
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“Viasat is thrilled to equip the C295 MSA aircraft with our advanced Ku- and Ka-band terminal to meet the specific needs of military customers,” stated Victor Farah, vice president of Government Systems.
“By combining our expertise with Airbus, we aim to enhance the operational capability, flexibility, and reliability of aircraft communications systems for military users. Our focus is on delivering secure, resilient, and scalable broadband SATCOM connectivity that is crucial for modern mission success.”
In addition, Viasat is also contracted with the IAC to provide a managed SATCOM service across multiple aircraft. This managed service will provide SATCOM services to both C295 MSAs, as well as a small fleet of PC-12 special mission aircraft and will include access to Viasat’s extensive Ku- and Ka-band networks for near-global service coverage.