Australia flies RAAF’s first C-17 with advanced SATCOM
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flew its first Boeing BA]-built C-17A Globemaster III equipped with a new advanced satellite communication (SATCOM) and imagery display system, providing the flight crew and passengers with unprecedented situational awareness.
Boeing installed the high-speed SATCOM system to support the RAAF’s ‘Plan Jericho,’ an initiative to transform the Australian military into an integrated, networked force able to deliver air power in all operating environments. Boeing has been executing and supporting programs to network Australian defense forces for many years.
According to Group Captain Robert Chipman, director, Plan Jericho, the C-17 system allows personnel on the aircraft to receive live en route updates and video from their destination, such as enemy positions or disaster damaged areas, right up to the point of insertion.
“The systems may also support other kinds of operations such as aeromedical evacuations by giving medical staff on board the ability to video conference with specialists on the ground,” said Chipman.
Applications enabled by the antenna include video teleconferencing, instant messaging, e-mail, transfer of large graphics files, voice and radio over internet protocol and common operating picture capability.
“A lot can change between the time a C-17 takes off and when it arrives at its destination,” said Michael Pokorny, a Boeing C-17 project manager. “These upgrades allow the crew to send and receive mission-critical information as easily as if they were in an office.”
The RAAF currently has six C-17s with an additional two aircraft on order.