ThinKom and Inmarsat Collaborate to Deliver SATCOM for U.S. DoD's Tactical Operations

ThinKom and Inmarsat Collaborate to Deliver SATCOM for U.S. DoD's Tactical Operations

ThinKom Solutions and Inmarsat Government have announced a collaboration to deliver more efficient and reliable satellite communications (SATCOM) for tactical operations. The pair will combine ThinKom’s ThinAir Ka2517 antenna with Inmarsat Government’s G-MODMAN II and G-MODMAN Open Platform (OP) modem managers to support Department of Defense connectivity around the globe.

“Delivering efficient connectivity to our government users around the globe is of paramount importance to ThinKom,” said Bill Milroy, CTO, and chairman of ThinKom Solutions. “We’re proud to work with Inmarsat Government to combine ThinKom’s highly reliable and efficient Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub (VICTS) phased-array antenna into a communications package that delivers every time and everywhere.”

The solution enables the vision of the Advanced Battle Management System contribution to Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) operations. This unique combination delivers on many facets of the U.S. Government’s tactical edge efforts. By enabling cloud-based computing, seamless data sharing, intelligent operations, or autonomous use cases, the innovative solution reduces decision-making timelines for intelligent assets supporting troops in the field.

This configuration is the first of its kind to cover the full Ka-band frequency range in one terminal, providing greater access to current and future satellite constellations and associated services, while significantly lowering the physical profile on the airborne platform. It significantly reduces aircraft downtime and component swap requirements previously required for different mission deployments.

The combined technologies bring several additional operational efficiencies to the market, including:

  • Agility to interoperate seamlessly with satellites in geostationary and non-geostationary orbits, ensuring worldwide connectivity meeting the JADC2 requirements for multi-orbit, multi-constellation operations.
  • Improved satellite switching capabilities to ensure uninterrupted connectivity while maintaining network security for all U.S. Government applications.
  • Reduced drag, thanks to the ThinAir Ka2517 low-profile radome, resulting in lower fuel consumption and longer time on station, without refueling,
  • Flexibility to work on the broadest possible range of aircraft sizes and configurations.

Matt Wissler, Chief Technology Officer, Inmarsat Government said, “Integrating the spectral efficiency of the ThinAir Ka2517 with Inmarsat Government’s G-MODMAN II modem manager delivers a powerful, turnkey solution for our government customers. Our efforts with ThinKom will result in substantially improved satellite communications resiliency while improving airborne platform range through reduced aircraft drag leading to lower fuel consumption.”

The fully type-approved quad-band version of the ThinAir Ka2517 Satcom aero terminal can operate on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) worldwide satellite network. This includes seamless switching on the GX commercial network’s global service beams and Inmarsat’s high-capacity, global military Ka-band (Mil Ka) network’s steerable beams, plus the capability to connect to the U.S. Government’s Wideband Global SATCOM system (WGS). This flexibility and interoperability provide Inmarsat Government’s customers with always-on availability, capacity, coverage, and capability for a wide range of mission profiles.

Additionally, the ThinAir Ka2517 antenna and G-MODMAN II combination deliver a future-proof solution for government customers. The offering is compatible with the Ka-band satellites in orbit today, as well as Inmarsat’s fully funded technology roadmap. To meet increasingly complex SATCOM capability and throughput demands, Inmarsat will launch a further six satellites by 2025 and significantly expand its ground network to support them. This includes additional capacity, coverage for both commercial and Mil Ka capabilities worldwide as well as two highly elliptical orbit satellite payloads for Arctic coverage.

The Ka2517 is based on ThinKom’s field-proven, patented VICTS phased-array technology. VICTS antennas have an unparalleled record of reliability with installations on over 1,550 commercial aircraft with over 31 million hours of accrued flight time and a mean-time-between-failure exceeding 100,000 hours. Ka2517 antennas have been providing continuous service on U.S. government aircraft since 2018.

The G-MODMAN II modem manager is a flexible, easy-to-use solution that seamlessly integrates with the ThinAir Ka2517 and provides the enabling technology to support the implementation of the current and future generation of GX services across aviation platforms. G-MODMAN II builds on Inmarsat’s robust monitoring system and includes high-fidelity monitoring and logging features, allowing easy access to mission-critical data and enabling highly detailed performance and trend analysis that leverages advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques.

Click here to learn about ThinKom's ThinAir Ka2517 antenna.

Click here to learn about Inmarsat Government’s G-MODMAN II and G-MODMAN Open Platform (OP) modem managers.

Publisher: SatNow


  • Country: United States
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GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013