Since 2005, XTAR has provided the U.S. Government a U.S. industry-unique product: 1.44 GHz of military-grade, high-throughput, virtually-weatherproof X-band SATCOM bandwidth that is 100% compatible with the DoD’s own Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) constellation. That’s right: XTAR’s fleet of 20 powerful, 72 MHz transponders are 100% compatible WGS, and thus provides a natural, redundant resiliency to WGS users. In other words, when WGS is unavailable, WGS users simply need to repoint their antennas to XTAR. No extra equipment to purchase, transport, or sustain. From a resiliency, affordability, and ease of use vantage point, equipping our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines with XTAR just makes sense.
Resiliency in a communications network is critical, and it is one of the key factors in a current study being led by the U.S. Air Force known as the Wideband Communications Services Analysis of Alternatives (WCS AoA). The WCS AoA will attempt to find the right balance between MILSATCOM (government-owned) and COMSATCOM (commercially leased) satellite communications services for the Department of Defense (DoD). Not an easy task, but it is certain that the best solutions from a resiliency standpoint will always be those systems that, at the end of the day, permit the soldier, sailor, and airman to carry less gear – and thus focus on the fight. With XTAR, no need to carry more gear – just repoint your WGS antennas to XTAR and keep fighting.
Affordability is another key factor in the WCS AoA. It has been a longstanding principle in the satellite industry that COMSATCOM is both more capable and more affordable than trying to predict the future and then buying a soon-outdated MILSATCOM constellation with the risks that purchase entails. As the US Air Force prepares to launch WGS-10 in 2019 for operations over the following 15 years, the best solutions from an affordability standpoint will always be those systems that, at the end of the day, permit DoD acquisition offices to preserve their resources for other equipping, training, and sustainment needs. With XTAR, no need to purchase additional equipment – just repoint your antennas and keep moving.
Ease of Use is certainly a prime driver in all DoD acquisition efforts. In other words, systems that require less training – are easier to use – always have an advantage over systems that don’t. Technology is moving ahead rapidly and demands enough of our soldiers. With XTAR, no need to train on new equipment – just bring your own WGS-compatible gear and keep communicating.
Conclusion. As the WCS AoA continues to evolve, it is important to remember that the very best SATCOM solutions will always be the commercial SATCOM solutions that are most resilient, affordable, and easy to use. Augmenting one’s WGS SATCOM capabilities with XTAR just makes sense. As the only U.S. company providing commercial X-band SATCOM to the Department of Defense, XTAR is already preparing its next generation fleet and is, and will remain, a truly unique and powerful tool for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – enabling them to keep fighting, moving, and communicating – in the harshest weather conditions on the planet.