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Achieving The Tactical Edge
Spotlight on Spectra’s Slingshot

 

Conceived and designed to meet demanding Special Forces requirements, Spectra’s SlingShot is a unique, low size, weight and power (SWaP) system that enables existing UHF and VHF tactical radios to extend their reach into the realm of Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) Communications on the Move (COTM).

By using Inmarsat’s commercial L-band Tactical Satellite (L-TAC), SlingShot allows a tactical net to be created over 1000s of kilometers to deliver a comprehensive range of tactical and operational network capabilities. SlingShot provides voice and data capability for Command and Control (C2), encrypted if required, and to support wide-ranging mission-critical applications, such as artillery fire missions, GPS tracking and biometric analysis, to name a few. With greater capability compared to traditional TACSAT, increased and guaranteed channel availability, and virtually no increase in the training burden, SlingShot is rapidly redefining tactical communications.

As a truly game-changing system, SlingShot gifts the user the tactical edge by enabling high tempo operations; enhancing force protection; and facilitating complex, multi-agency interoperability. All with a system that is simple, reliable and cost-effective.

With no reliance on additional infrastructure, SlingShot enables high tempo operations in remote locations.

BLOS communications have traditionally been complex and time-consuming to establish, particularly when operating without recourse to conventional fixed infrastructure. Until now, military satellite technology and High Frequency Radios have been the principle means used to establish BLOS communications. However, the UHF TACSAT antennae required are large and must be pointed towards the satellite to establish a communications link, compelling the user to remain stationary in order to communicate.

With discrete, lightweight, omnidirectional antennae, optimized to be man-portable or easily fitted to vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, SlingShot allows teams, right down to the tactical level, to communicate instantly and while on the move. SlingShot’s unique capability enables a significantly increased tempo of operations: commanders provided with access to fully up-to-date situational awareness to support swift decision-making; users empowered to deliver decisive tactical action by the ability to communicate instantly at multiple levels without the shortfalls and constraints of traditional communications systems.

SlingShot’s tactical reliability and discreet signature ensures that the user can maintain a low tactical profile in order to establish communications.

The combination of SlingShot’s ability to work with existing encryption equipment and a non-specific electronic signature (it is indistinguishable from commercial satellite traffic) makes the system more difficult to trace than when using military radio frequencies, providing the user with enhanced force protection and affording the confidence to maintain communications throughout all phases of operations. In addition, unlike many traditional communications systems,

SlingShot is not limited by terrain or degraded by weather and darkness; meaning that operationally critical lines of communication can relied upon 24 hours a day and from virtually any platform or location. By overcoming the traditional operating limitations of BLOS communications imposed by weather, terrain and emissions, SlingShot once again provides the user with the upper-hand.

Plus, complex, multi-national, multi-agency operations are supported by SlingShot’s ability to create a network linking groups using nationally discrete equipment.

Spectra’s SlingShot offers the key defining capability of providing a collaborative network for interoperability; permitting seamless inter-agency communications between individuals or organizations likely to be using nationally distinct communications equipment. By creating a unified L-band net using the existing in-service tactical radios of coalition partners, whether VHF or UHF, SlingShot can provide the foundation for complex operations supported by any number of discrete agencies.

SlingShot has a proven record of providing a reliable and easily implemented communications network for multiple agencies worldwide. Already in use with numerous Special Forces, border security and disaster-relief agencies, SlingShot is rapidly becoming the capability of choice for multi-agency operations. Simply established interoperability has never been so easy to achieve and with SlingShot is now a reality.

Simplicity, reliability and versatility ensure that SlingShot provides maximum utility with minimum cost, time and training burden.

With a small external appliqué that connects directly to the users’ existing radio and requires no configuration, SlingShot eliminates the need for re-equipping the force and demands minimal training, reducing the cognitive burden on the operator. SlingShot’s reliability as a communications system stems from the provision of critical voice; when the user transmits, the assigned channel instantaneously transfers the message to an all-informed network, exactly like a radio net.

This is the significant difference between SlingShot and other range-extension systems that provide either an on-demand channel, where a channel is provided only if available, or Voice over IP (VoIP)/Radio Over IP (RoIP), where there is no guarantee of the IP network providing a circuit when needed, therefore giving no guarantee that the message will get through.

SlingShot’s simplicity enables reliable communications immediately on deployment, eliminating delay in establishing communications networks and increasing the speed of reaction and efficiency of the deployed force. Spectra’s SlingShot is undoubtedly a force multiplier.
spectra-group.co.uk

Spectra Specifics
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd is a renowned specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems, specifically optimized for use in remote and challenging environments. The company provides high-grade information security and communication capabilities and has more than 15 years of experience in delivering solutions for governments around the globe, elite militaries, Special Forces and private enterprises of all sizes. Spectra was recently awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation Category for SlingShot.

Launched in 2013, over 3,000 SlingShot systems are now in operation world-wide. The system is used by more than 20 different organizations, in mostly NATO countries. Spectra continues to expand its SlingShot business into new markets. Multiple world-wide exhibits at Africa Endeavour (Cape Verde), Land Forces (Australia), DVD (UK), AUSA (USA), the Africa Security Symposium (Senegal), Global SOF (USA), IDEX (UAE) and Satellite 2019 (USA) have been met with considerable international interest, further endorsing Spectra’s dominant position in the Tactical SATCOM marketplace. Globally, SlingShot is rapidly becoming the system of choice for tactical radio users needing increased range, flexibility and interoperability.

In October 2018, following contract successes in North America, Spectra Group (UK) Ltd established new offices in Fairfax County with Spectra Group (US) Inc. Spectra Group’s permanent presence in the USA enables them to guarantee closer product support to their existing partners in North America, as well as dedicated product and service support directly to the end-user.

SlingShot was selected to participate in the U.S. Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE 2019) by the US DoD. The AEWE, fielded by the US Army Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, focuses on small unit modernization, providing capability developers, the Science and Technology community, and industry with a repeatable, credible, rigorous, and validated operational experiment, supporting both concept and material development.

The AEWE places cutting edge prototype technologies into the hands of soldiers, providing bottom up input to capability development through early and iterative feedback in a tactical setting. During AEWE 2019 SlingShot was successfully used and evaluated in a range of operational and tactical scenarios.

Spectra Group is now seeking to expand the firm’s already substantial international sales into new sectors not currently covered by their existing U.S. partners; a significant development as, globally, the U.S. offers the largest Defence, Emergency Response and Homeland Security market.
Spectra can leverage their international delivery experience to also provide Cyber Advisory and secure Hosted and Managed Solutions on time, to spec and on budget, ensuring compliance with industry standards and best practices.