17.03.22 / Defense

Partnership with Thales to equip French Defense’s Airbus MRTT

Eclipse Global Connectivity partners with Thales to equip French Defense's Airbus MRTT aircraft with a secure SATCOM solution.

PARIS • 17 March 2022

Eclipse Global Connectivity (Eclipse) is partnering with Thales on a 17-year contract to develop and provide a SATCOM solution for French Defense Airbus MRTT aircraft. The project is part of the French Government’s program called Marché d’Elaboration d’Intégration et de soutien des Stations Satcom Aéronautiques (MELISSA).

Based on existing technologies already used in the commercial aviation market, the solution, planned for delivery in early 2027, offers:

• High-bandwidth connectivity on military and civilian Ka-band networks (up to 50 Mbps)
• Persistent, highly reliable connection to maintain connectivity in signal-jammed environments and severely degraded weather and flight conditions.
• Flexibility to ensure compatibility with France’s SYRACUSE IV Sovereign satellite system, along with allied military and commercial satellites; and
• Military-grade security for high-level protection against cyber threats.

Eclipse will be responsible for designing and manufacturing the Inmarsat antenna baseplate, certifying the antenna, and the provisioning the Ka-band modem.

Eclipse Technics, the company’s Design and Production (DOA / POA) division is fundamental to the project, having 20 plus years of aircraft modification experience.

« Thanks to the synergy between Eclipse, Thales and our partners, the French Armed Forces will gain a secure, customized, ultra-high-performance connectivity solution to address their unique operational needs and goals, » explained Marc Pinault, CEO of Eclipse. « This is an incredibly gratifying long-term project for us and a testament to our lengthy history providing superior SATCOM solutions to defense aircraft operators. »

Image : Olivier CABARET