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Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband Successful in RPA Trans-Atlantic Flight

By | July 12, 2018
General Atomics' Skyguardian MQ-9B RPA plane. Photo: General Atomics.

General Atomics’ Skyguardian MQ-9B RPA plane. Photo: General Atomics.

Inmarsat Government has been boosted by the news that a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA ASI) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) flight test has successfully used SwiftBroadband, Inmarsat’s L-band service. GA ASI-owned MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA flew from the company’s Flight Test and Training Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S., to the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford base in Gloucestershire, U.K.

The flight test was the first trans-Atlantic flight of a Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) RPA. SwiftBroadband eliminated the need for forward deployed ground infrastructure for command and control as well as takeoff and landing operations, an option not commonly available for RPA operations.