Spectra Group’s SlingShot: Satellite Communications to support Specialist Operations

SlingShot-Equipped small size

With award-winning Spectra’s SlingShot in operation around the globe, users are truly recognising the unique communications edge that this game-changing technology offers

Conceived and designed to meet demanding Special Forces military 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 utilising 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. With greater capability compared to traditional systems, increased and guaranteed channel availability, and virtually no increase in the training burden, SlingShot is rapidly redefining military tactical communications.

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 its discrete, lightweight, omnidirectional antennae, optimised 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 whilst on the move.

Spectra Group SlingShot

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 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. 

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 organisations 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.

For more information please visit: www.spectra-group.co.uk