Last week, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flew its first Boeing-built C-17A Globemaster III equipped with a new advanced satellite communication (SATCOM) and imagery display system that are set to provide improved situational awareness to crew and passengers.
According to Boeing’s media release, 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 antenna allows for video teleconferencing, instant messaging, e-mail, transfer of large graphics files, voice and radio over internet protocol and common operating picture capability.
The new system was installed by Boeing to support RAAF’s Plan Jericho – an initiative to transform the Australian military into an integrated, networked force that will be able to deliver air power in all sorts of operating environments.
“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 Group Captain Robert Chipman, director, Plan Jericho.
“A lot can change between the times a C-17 takes off and when it arrives at its destination. These upgrades allow the crew to send and receive mission-critical information as easily as if they were in an office,” said Michael Pokorny, a Boeing C-17 project manager.