June 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 2 
Special Features


In-flight broadband service can help advance the military network


CONNEXION STANDS READY TO SERVEAs the U.S. government, specifically the Department of Defense, invests in developing its broadband mobile communications systems, one goal continues to loom large: ensuring everyone has access to accurate information and data in real time.

Ongoing military programs will deploy new satellites, antenna terminals and ground-based infrastructure. Boeing supports many of these, including Wideband Gapfiller Satellite and the Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals.

However, much of this new technology isn’t due to come on line for another five to seven years. Consequently, Integrated Defense Systems and Phantom Works are working with Connexion by Boeing to show how the same system that keeps business travelers connected today can help the military network their airborne platforms.

“Connexion provides broadband connectivity now [for] both our joint service partners and also our allies,” says George Muellner, vice president and general manager of Air Force Systems at Integrated Defense Systems. “Broadband connectivity is a ‘must-have’ today if we are going to prosecute campaigns in a network-centric fashion.”

“The network access we provide between mobile platforms and the networks on the ground is a fundamental requirement of network-centric operations,” says Gerald Hopp, government sales director for Connexion by Boeing. “The concept of e-Enabling an airliner or enabling a command-and-control aircraft to operate in a network-centric environment is very similar.”

Using existing facilities, Connexion is already providing this capability to top government and military executives. Just like their private-sector counterparts, government officials aboard Connexion-equipped jets, including the U.S. Air Force VIP fleet of C-32A and C-40B aircraft (IDS products based on Commercial Airplanes jetliners) have access to late-breaking news via satellite-delivered television as well as high-speed Internet and private workplace networks. They also can participate in video teleconferences and use other Internet Protocol–based applications to help them make informed decisions in real time.

“By being in the market five to seven years ahead of when the new U.S. government systems will be available, we are in a position to help our customers bridge the gap between the current need for broadband networked communications and their future capability,” Hopp says. “Our message (to government customers) is: Why wait? Use Connexion by Boeing to develop new applications so they are mature and deployable when the robust military network arrives.”

Hopp says Connexion by Boeing continues to work with IDS and Phantom Works to build awareness among Boeing’s government customers, including the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines and Coast Guard, about how Connexion by Boeing service can provide near-term fundamental net-centric operations: real-time, high-speed, network access on the move.


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