USAF Picks Honeywell’s JetWave Satcom for C-17 Fleet

A C-17 Globemaster III

The U.S. Air Force has selected Honeywell’s JetWave satcom system for use on 70 C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes.

JetWave relies on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band service to provide worldwide connectivity with up to 50 Mbps of bandwidth to defense customers — JetWave is also available to civil customers with lower speeds. On the command-and-control front, the JetWave addition will enable real-time weather, video conferencing, large file transfer, encryption capabilities, in-flight briefings, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance video and secure communications to crews onboard C-17s.

“The system’s reliable connection allows the aircraft to transform into a mobile communication hub en route to the battlefield, even in high-traffic areas,” said Steve Hadden, senior director of defense connectivity for Honeywell Aerospace. “JetWave has the bandwidth to support multiple users communicating and sharing sensor data to ensure mission-critical information can be transmitted at every step of the mission.”

Honeywell provides both the tail-mounted MCS-8000 and the fuselage-mounted MCS-8100 antenna to as mounting options, while Inmarsat said it will continue to invest in and improve the Global Xpress network’s capabilities at no cost to customers.

“Honeywell is driving the era of the connected aircraft for military operators, and broadband connectivity anywhere on the globe is now a mission-critical requirement in the modern battlespace,” said Steven Williams, Honeywell Aerospace vice president of defense for the Americas.

The full 70-unit contract runs through 2021, according to Inmarsat, while the initial order of 10 JetWave systems was delivered last month. Booz Allen Hamilton is the prime contractor on the fixed installation satellite antenna program under which the Honeywell contract was awarded.

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox