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In association with Smiths Interconnect
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February 10, 2022

How Smiths Interconnect keeps the world connected

The defense industry faces several unique challenges when it comes to connectivity, but it still demands reliability and efficiency in all applications, from communication, radar and electronic warfare to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Smiths Interconnect offers a comprehensive range of highly reliable, quality interconnect solutions that are proven to be effective even in the harshest military environments.  With reliance and breakdown prevention being so critical in the defense sector, why do defense departments around the world purposely choose Smiths Interconnect?

According to David Popelka Vice President, Engineering at Smiths Interconnect Inc.: “Our commitment to being an industry leader in Line-Of-Sight (LOS) and Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) connectivity has allowed us to introduce many innovative products and solutions for military applications.  Smiths Interconnect has both the capability for solving unique problems on complex engineering development programs and for customising standard products to meet the customer’s special requirements.”

Smiths Interconnect has a long history of serving the defense industry, as well as having many fielded units currently in service.  Their highly skilled and experienced engineering and manufacturing personnel continuously work to develop cost effective and 100% technically compliant solutions that reduce overall system volume, weight, and installation time and subsequently system cost through innovative packaging.  Smiths Interconnect also offers full Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), including test and repair centers, support of component obsolescence upgrades, and aftermarket support throughout the product life.

Part of providing reliable connectivity to the defense industry is continuously developing and improving upon solutions, and Smiths Interconnect does not disappoint.  This proves why it is an industry-leader with more than 1,100 airborne SATCOM terminals installed in the commercial air transport and military markets providing in-flight connectivity to thousands of users every day: “Our recently introduced 30 cm tail mount KaStream® 5000 SATCOM terminal is our latest network and modem agnostic SATCOM system, which is specifically designed to provide high-speed connectivity on Ka-Band satellite networks for smaller airborne platforms.  This system has successfully completed DO-160 certification and is currently in-flight test for Supplemental Type Certification (STC).” said David Popelka

The KaStream 5000 MK II

Smiths Interconnect’s flagship fuselage mounted KuStream® 1000, a network and modem agnostic terminal, is already flying on more than ten airlines globally and has logged over 15 million flight hours.

For more than 20 years, Smiths Interconnect has been involved in the military F-35 Lightning II programme, a single-seat, single-engine stealth multirole combat aircraft designed for superior air dominance.  The company has supplied hundreds of interconnect devices, also including data links, up and down converters, wave antennas, transmitters, receivers, and multi-functional RF subsystems. Smiths Interconnect is also partnering with GA-ASI to develop a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified integrated multi-function RF/Microwave transmit and receive solution following GA-ASI’s contract to develop an Air-To-Air Radar (ATAR) that will enable routine flights of unmanned aircraft in the US national airspace system.

The company has also expanded its line of ground control/data terminal products with the MMA-RX which utilises a three-aperture design, providing quad band data receive bandwidth in a single unit. The system features upgraded high efficiency apertures, supplying medium to long-range link capability. The desired aperture is user selectable through a flexible software interface, providing L/S, C, or Ku-Band capability within three seconds. The system features a two axis (El over Az) antenna positioner assembly that is suitable for the harsh tactical environment. The antenna controller, power supply and LNA’s, as well as all the necessary filters and switches are all integrated into single LRU. The system also comes with a dual GPS Inertial Navigation System (INS), which facilitates rapid set-up and target acquisition. The combination of small size, rapid deployment, high gain, large instantaneous bandwidth, and dynamic capability directly benefit the tactical user by providing a low SWaP datalink for Line-of-Site communication at high data rates. 

The MMA-RX

In addition, the GDT 2000/2100 family of Ground Data Terminals support Ku-Band Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) command and control, as well as the receipt of video data.  These systems are offered in 3 ft and 4 ft reflector configurations.

The reliability of connectivity products and expertise behind the team are essential in the defense industry, where contracts are typically long-term commitments. In this regard, Smiths Interconnect continually demonstrates why it is the first choice for so many defense end users and OEMs across the world.

For more information about the work that Smiths Interconnect does with the defense industry, including its extensive range of products and services, visit their website.

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