Radio interoperability is an essential requirement for militaries, government agencies and first responders. The benefits of using SlingShot with L-TAC to extend the range of tactical radios beyond line of sight are many. So let’s break them down and look at them one at a time.
Why Is Radio Interoperability Important?
Future wars will be fought by coalitions, but not all coalition partners will have the most cutting edge technology available to them. That means that nations have to make sure that their capabilities are backwards-compatible and interoperable.
“Interoperability is essential to ensure NATO’s forces effectiveness.”
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Jean-Paul Paloméros, 25 Sept. 2013
Over the last quarter century there has been a focus-shift away from territorial defence to multinational expeditionary missions. Recent examples, such as Afghanistan and Libya, have shown the limits of Allied interoperability.
Technological differences are one of the many factors that make the interoperability challenge harder to overcome. The US, for example, has many highly advanced technologies compared to some of its Allies. For instance, UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems), CPOF (Command Post of the Future) and BFT (Blue Force Tracker).
SlingShot is essentially a low-tech solution to a very complex problem. It allows elements with different radios and varyingly equipped Coalition military forces to communicate effectively. Thus providing a unique and straightforward enhancement to the tactical network. Not only does it unify different radio systems, but it also delivers Beyond Line of Sight Communications On The Move to in-service tactical radios.
SlingShot does so by connecting existing in-service VHF and UHF hand-held and tactical radios, many of which run natively on different frequency bands. Once enabled by SlingShot to work on L-Band over SatCom, all radios tuned to the given channel and sharing the same Crypto (or in clear) can communicate.
Value To The Warfighter
An operationally proven ‘battle winning and lifesaving’ capability, SlingShot allows all military formations to communicate with each other BLOS whilst utilising MILSTD LOS fielded communications equipment. Additionally, any unit can now effectively communicate with all potential coalition and partner nation forces anywhere in the world. The L-TAC beams can be configured to allow separate networks to be employed across multiple spot beams in the satellite. All of this affords the commander the ability to conduct C2 operations across an entire CGG Theater of Operations.
Radio Interoperability Beyond The Military
Also, it’s not just in military applications where interoperability is so important. Anywhere where multiple agencies need to work together will benefit. In hostile environments, with little to no existing terrestrial communications infrastructure, SlingShot can be a massive advantage.
Think intelligence agencies; first responders; disaster relief. There are many scenarios where different organisations need to communicate over 100s of miles and using various in-service communication equipment.