Airborne ISR supplemented by XTAR’s commercial X-band service

XTAR, a commercial provider of satellite services in the X-band frequency, reports that it has contracted for 100 MHz of bandwidth worth more than $8 million over the past year, capturing what it says is a “significant” segment of the growing airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) market.

Under these various contracts, XTAR will provide high-powered X-band capacity on its XTAR-LANT and XTAR-EUR payloads to support services on manned aircraft using advanced antennas designed specifically for airborne applications. These terminals range in size from 0.8 meters down to 0.4 meters. This capacity will provide service over a coverage area extending from North and South America to Africa and the Middle East. Contract terms vary from six months to as long as 72 months.

"XTAR and X-band are supporting increasingly significant warfighter requirements, especially for vital intelligence gathering missions within the airborne ISR market," said Philip Harlow, XTAR president and COO, in a press statement. "The value-added integrators working with XTAR to support these missions continue to focus on X-band because they understand commercial X-band's strength, especially for government users requiring satellite solutions that are not supported by government satellite resources.”

XTAR's efforts in the airborne ISR market came about after an 18-month strategy to transition the company away from supporting traditional satellite applications, such as point-to-point services, toward enabling the advanced applications required by today's warfighter, according to the press statement. As part of this strategy, XTAR re-pointed several of its steerable spot beams to better accommodate airborne and other applications that rely on small terminals.

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