Honeywell award signifies critical role of GX for U.S. government

09 July 2019: Inmarsat is proud to announce that long-time, value-added manufacturing partner, Honeywell, has been selected to provide the JetWave™ satellite communication (SATCOM) system for 70 C-17 aircraft as a part of the Fixed Installation Satellite Antenna program for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

The award underscores the continuing innovation that our Global Xpress service brings to U.S. government customers and the critical role it will play in the operations of these aircraft.


A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III takes off June 21, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The C-17 is one of the most rapidly agile cargo aircraft and is capable of strategic delivery of troops and other types of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)

Honeywell’s JetWave’s Ka-band Fuselage-mounted antenna (MCS-8100)/Tail-mounted antenna (MCS-8000) will be combined with Global Xpress to deliver the most extensive global coverage for a reliable command-and-control link – including over water, on non-traditional flight paths and in remote areas – for the beyond-line-of-sight communications system.

Situational awareness

JetWave will support and improve the en route communication capabilities for the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, resulting in real-time situational awareness for the aircrew, soldiers on board, and ground-based command leadership, ultimately enabling better decision-making and enhancing safety.

The expanded communications capabilities will include real-time weather, video conferencing, large file transfer, encryption capabilities, in-flight briefings, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance video and secure communications. High-throughput reliable wideband will allow aircraft in transit to be linked with command elements and forces anywhere in the world. With the improved situational awareness, mission operators will be able to better assess and adjust to the battlefield environment, en route and in real time.

Honeywell’s JetWave satellite communications system allows users to connect to Global Xpress, the first and only end-to-end commercial Ka-band network from a single operator that delivers worldwide service.

Available worldwide

Through Global Xpress, Inmarsat Government is bringing the advantages of seamless, consistent, high-throughput wideband connectivity to U.S. government users anywhere, anytime.

Global Xpress has proven its superiority as a readily available, dependable, flexible and affordable option for global access and uniform coverage, with reliable quality of service from one edge of a spot beam to another, backed by solid service level agreements and committed information rates worldwide.

Our future innovation arrives at no capital expense for our customers. Once we implement and tests these new improvements, users simply “connect” and get to enjoy the benefits.

System interoperability

The C-17 Globemaster III is critical for airlift capability, delivering troops and cargo to bases in any environment. JetWave provides the DoD’s C-17 aircraft with global, seamless, high-data-rate communications while travelling to overseas locations. The system’s interoperability and real-time updates enable the DoD aircraft to remain in continuous communication with ground elements as they deploy.

The initial order of 10 JetWave systems will be delivered to the U.S. DoD by June 2019, and the overall program runs through 2021.

Honeywell reached a similar agreement in 2017 with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to provide a fuselage-mount antenna on a C-130J Hercules military transport aircraft. That agreement was expanded in April 2019 as the RAAF announced plans to include JetWave on five additional Hercules aircraft. These planes are frequently used to deliver disaster relief in Australia and the Pacific region. JetWave successfully demonstrated on the first C-130J its ability to use several secure military applications that previous technology couldn’t enable due to bandwidth restrictions, including live video streaming and encrypted file transfer.

At Inmarsat, we dedicate ourselves to continued innovation with Global Xpress to support these and countless other mission-focused projects for the DoD. We extend our congratulations to Honeywell for this latest award. For updates about future opportunities with our U.S. government customers check out the Inmarsat Government blogs here.

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