Boeing has finalized a firm-fixed-price contract with Al Yah Satellite Company (Yahsat), the United Arab Emirates-based multipurpose satellite operator, to design and build active electronically steered phased array antenna systems for aircraft. The value of the contract is not being disclosed.
The small, state-of-the-art Ka-band phased-array SATCOM antenna system allows customers to take advantage of the significant increase in bandwidth offered by next-generation Ka-band satellites to transport data from aircraft in flight to the ground network, and vice versa. Boeing developed these communications antenna technologies to improve the capability of platforms to remain networked while mobile.
“Boeing’s unique phased array antenna system enables greater bandwidth capabilities for network communications while in flight,” said Terry Collins, vice president and general manager, Boeing Electronic & Mission Systems. “We’re both proud and excited to produce these next-generation antenna systems, and we remain focused on completing the development and delivery of these systems for Yahsat.”
“This agreement with Boeing is further evidence of Yahsat’s commitment to forming strategic partnerships with the industry’s leading organizations, allowing us to provide turnkey solutions for secure, reliable, cost-effective satellite communications solutions,” said YahService General Manager Rashed Al Ghafri.
“Boeing’s Ka-band phased-array SATCOM antenna system is the perfect partner for our Ka-band enabled satellites, which means that we will now be able to service our customers with state-of-the-art antennas for installation on aircraft platforms,” Al Ghafri added.
Aircraft operators will gain significant benefits from the low-profile, low-drag and easy-to-maintain antenna system. Built upon heritage Ku-band systems that have been operational for more than a decade, Boeing’s latest Ka-band phased array system uses electronically controlled beams to transmit and receive signals from Ka-band satellites in a single, small, aerodynamic design.
The antennas are being designed in Kent, Wash., and will be produced at the Boeing Strategic Manufacturing Center in El Paso, Texas.
Yahsat provides multipurpose satellite solutions (government and commercial) for broadband, broadcast, military and communications use across the Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia. Based in Abu Dhabi and wholly owned by Mubadala, Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer multipurpose satellite services:
- YahClick – satellite broadband service
- YahSecure – government satellite service
- YahLink – satellite connectivity service
- YahService – end-to-end satellite solutions
- YahCarrier – satellite solutions for telecommunications carriers.
Yahsat’s first satellite, Y1A, was successfully launched in April 2011. The company is preparing to launch its second satellite, Y1B, in April of this year.