Ball Aerospace and XTAR have demonstrated high-throughput intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) services for the US Air Force (USAF) on an X-band hatch-mounted flat panel antenna.

The demonstration at Aberdeen Proving Ground supports the USAF's Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) programme, which aims to integrate current and emerging national capabilities into tactical decision-making processes.

During the demo, Ball's Airlink X-1 antenna configured for the C130 hatch transmitted 4.5 megabits of data per second over the XTAR-LANT satellite located at the 30°W location, marking an increase in throughput compared to many existing terminals.

"Ball's Airlink X-1 represents a significant improvement in phased array technology that will provide the warfighter with vastly enhanced communications."

The Airlink X-1 X-band SATCOM on the move (OTM) terminal supports operation with Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) and commercial X-band satellites, thus providing operational flexibility.

Following successful SATCOM demonstration and in-depth antenna technical exchanges, Ball's OTM terminal can now access XTAR satellites.

Ball Aerospace Tactical Solutions vice-president and general manager Rob Freedman said: "Ball's Airlink X-1 represents a significant improvement in phased array technology that will provide the warfighter with vastly enhanced communications.

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"We are pleased to partner with XTAR to bring this critical capability to the men and women who defend our nation."

The latest demonstration is in line with XTAR's efforts to support the US military's airborne missions and to deploy commercial satellite capabilities for ISR requirements.

XTAR COO Philip Harlow said: "XTAR and Ball recognise the importance of being flexible, creative service providers to help AF TENCAP achieve its goals.

"XTAR supports X-band terminal manufacturers to harness their technology and create innovative, flexible X-band services for government mobility applications, for the US government, as well as others in the global community of X-band stakeholders."