Triathlete Steve Crowley wins the Soldiering On 2018 Spectra Group Sporting Excellence Award

The 2018 Soldiering On Awards took place on the 20th of April at the Park Plaza at Westminster Bridge Hotel, London. The black-tie gala was co-presented by TV personalities Vicki Michelle MBE and Jeremy Vine and hosted by the Soldiering On Through Life Trust’s Patron, the Rt Hon Earl Howe, who welcomed the finalists, nominators and sponsors. The evening focused on highlighting the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country as well as individuals and groups who work together with the Armed Forces Community. Spectra Group (UK) Ltd was honoured to once again support the evening.

At the start of the evening the Prime Minister sent a message of support and recognition to all the Finalists. Theresa May said: “I am delighted to send a message of support for this year’s Soldiering On Awards. The event provides a fantastic platform to give recognition to the extraordinary achievements of our Service personnel, veterans and the groups, businesses and charities that support the Armed Forces community. Their efforts are invaluable and it is only right that their work is appreciated and celebrated”. She added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the sterling work of X Forces Enterprise and all you do to support our Armed Forces. Please extend my warmest wishes to all those attending. I am grateful for their ongoing endeavours to support those who defend our country and their families”.

The evening continued with a champagne reception and included a three-course banquet. An inspirational awards ceremony was followed by great entertainment to finish the evening, with a performance by the internationally acclaimed classical singer, Carly Paoli.

Spectra Group sponsored the Sporting Excellence category. This category recognises a person who has overcome their disability or injury to excel in the field of sport. There were 3 finalists nominated and the CEO of Spectra Group UK, Simon Davies, presented the award to the winner, Steve Crowley.

Steve is a former Welsh Guardsman, who lost a leg in an IED explosion in Iraq in 2010. Running became his rehabilitation and he set himself goals to help his recovery – from a 10km race, through marathons, to joining the GB Triathlon Team. He has won many gold and silver medals, including from the World Triathlon Championships. His next goal is to represent the UK at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.


Spectra CEO, Simon Davies, with Steve Crowley, the Rt Hon Earl Howe, Jeremy Vine and Vicki Michelle MBE after presenting the Sporting Excellence Award to winner Steve at the 2018 Soldiering On Awards.

Spectra CEO, Simon Davies, with Steve Crowley, Major General Rupert Jones, Jeremy Vine and Vicki Michelle MBE after presenting the Sporting Excellence Award to winner Steve at the 2018 Soldiering On Awards.


Winners were selected by a distinguished Independent Judges Panel, co-chaired by General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL and Debra Allcock-Tyler, Chief Executive of the Directory of Social Change. The Soldiering On Through Life Trust encourages support for the UK’s Armed Forces Community by nationally recognising the achievements of groups or individuals supporting this community through the annual Soldiering On Awards.

Inmarsat Government wins MSUA Mobility Innovation Award for L-TAC™, incorporating Spectra’s SlingShot®

Inmarsat Government (L-TAC) has won the “Top Government Mobility Satcom Innovation” category in the Mobile Satellite Users Association’s (MSUA) 2018 Mobility Innovation Awards for its L-band Tactical Satellite (LTAC) service.

The L-TAC service provides an L-Band satellite channel that can, in combination with the SlingShot system from Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, provide global beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications on the move (COTM), on any platform or in a dismounted role, for military Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) users. There is also a SlingShot system available for commercial VHF frequencies. Using in-service tactical radios, the L-TAC/SlingShot solution enables secure voice and data capability on existing radio networks across any operating area without requiring additional user-provided terrestrial infrastructure.

Steff Taylor (third from the right) of Spectra joins Inmarsat’s Government team in accepting the MSUA Award at Satellite 2018

The service is implemented using a single hop through the Inmarsat-4 satellite system via directly connected L-band uplinks and downlinks, providing users with the same experience as operating with UHF satellite communications, but through a cost-effective L-band satellite channel and adding the vital capability of COTM.

“Government users around the world must have access to reliable communication capabilities, whether they are in an airplane or vehicle, on a boat or on foot, and our L-TAC service is empowering these communications – even in the most austere environments,” said Steve Gizinski, Chief Technology Officer, Inmarsat Government.

With the changing nature of military action, forces acting asymmetrically require a highly coordinated strategy that relies heavily on reliable and secure communications systems. If organisations are working in Coalition and are using different communication frequencies, SlingShot enables their disparate systems to all work over L-TAC, unifying the communications net.

This is why L-TAC/SlingShot is already in use by a large proportion of NATO armed forces, supporting operations around the world and providing mission-critical command and control and coalition interoperability.

The commercial variant provides capability for police, fire and medical support services, emergency services, aid agencies, embassy communications, border patrol and other civilian agency use in support of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations and other multi-department requirements.

Spectra’s SlingShot

SlingShot allows in-service tactical radios to operate over L-Band providing BLOS COTM for seamless secure tactical and strategic Command & Control communications.

Small, lightweight and drawing low power, SlingShot can be used on any platform, providing a game-changing capability, extending tactical communications to where it is needed. SlingShot’s omni-directional antenna enable personnel travelling on foot, in vehicles on water or air, to maintain communications where other systems fail.

With reduced cost compared to traditional TACSAT, increased channel availability and minimal increase in the training burden SlingShot and L-TAC are redefining tactical communications.

“We are delighted to be part of Inmarsat Government’s winning of the Top Government Mobility Satcom Innovation Award.

Using Inmarsat’s world leading global constellation of geostationary satellites, SlingShot gives the unique capability to access single-hop real-time Beyond Line of Sight Communications, with no need for terrestrial infrastructure, no matter where you need to be.”

 Simon Davies

Spectra CEO

You can read more about SlingShot here, for enquiries, or to book a demonstration, please get in touch.

Spectra upgrades to Cyber Essentials Plus

As secure networks and mission critical communications specialists and a Top 100 SME supplier to UK Government, Spectra Group applied for and received Cyber Essentials certification as soon as it became available. The company has now also received the Cyber Essentials Plus certification.

Developed in conjunction with the Information Security Forum (ISF), Cyber Essentials forms a robust and stringent checklist that security companies must meet to be considered eligible to work with highly sensitive information and government level security contracts. Cyber Essentials is awarded to organisations that complete a self-assessment questionnaire, which is reviewed by an external Certifying Body

Cyber Essentials Plus actually tests an organisation’s systems. An external Certifying Body carries-out a technical review to ensure compliance against the following scenarios:

  • Can malicious files enter the organisation from the Internet through either web traffic or email messages?
  • Should malicious content enter the organisation, how effective are the anti-virus and malware protection mechanisms?
  • Should the organisation’s protection mechanisms fail, how likely is it that the organisation will be compromised due to failings in the patching of the organisation’s workstations?

Spectra Cybersecurity Solutions deliver peace of mind in an ever-increasing threat environment. Using a detailed understanding of voice and data 1st principles networks are designed to protect an organisation’s most valuable information. As an accredited company, Spectra can provide Cyber Security as a Service (CSECaaS) in both the government and enterprise market sectors, to ensure the achievement of industry standards and maintenance of corporate and legal compliance.

With a service offering covering Design, Hosting and Consultancy, organisations can leverage the many years of experience Spectra has in this area in preventing information exploitation. With particular emphasis on civil government, specialised SMEs and the utilities sector CSECaaS can provide solutions in both fixed and deployed environments.

To best meet the needs of different companies, Spectra offers a Cyber Concierge service that provides direct support from internal highly trained resources and indirect support using carefully hand-picked providers. Depending on the requirement, the solution can be both proactive and designed to prevent an attack or reactive, to minimise reputational damage following a breach of security and assist in the disaster recovery and business continuity activities.


Download the Three Essential Steps to Cybersecurity

Download the 3 Essential Steps to Cybersecurity