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MoD Procures Troposcatter COMET Systems

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has acquired $8 million of Troposcatter Compact Over-the horizon Mobile Expeditionary Terminal (COMET) systems for 3 (UK) Division By Joseph Macey / 12 Sep 2023
MoD Procures Troposcatter COMET Systems
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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has acquired $8 million of Troposcatter Compact Over-the horizon Mobile Expeditionary Terminal (COMET) systems and a comprehensive spares support package for 7 Signal Group and use by the UK’s strategic land warfare asset 3 (UK) Division.

Spectra Group, the UK and NATO distributor for Troposcatter on behalf of US company Comtech Systems, has been working closely with MoD and their strategic capability teams to better understand the increasing demands for greater range, bandwidth and data capacity to connect strategic and operational headquarters while deployed on operations.

More recently the company has been involved in detailed discussions, capability demonstrations and various agile command and control experiments to prove the benefits of using their Troposcatter technology, which has resulted in this $8 million order for 3 (UK) Division. 

The purchase, via the NATO catalog, is said to be an excellent example of how the MoD can quickly deliver critical capability required by frontline troops using the Rapid Acquisition Team methodology and reinforces CGS’s aspiration to use technology to remain agile and be ready for the next conflict not the last.

Troposcatter is a small, lightweight and high-bandwidth data link that uses the Troposphere to provide its communication network. It is independent of satellites and works in a GPS/GNSS denied environment, so is suitable for use in a Peer-on-Peer conflict and to support multi-domain integration, including pan-government and with allies. It has very low latency and can provide wide bandwidth, enabling analysis and manipulation of large data, which combined with its high mobility makes it suitable for large, deployed HQs – such as those in 3 (UK) Div – and for more mobile battlegroups or even down to company headquarters. Unlike geostationary satellites, it is effective in polar regions and because it is directional, uses low power and has complex waveforms it is difficult to detect and is highly suitable for many of the challenges faced by UK Defence and NATO today. 

Simon Davies, Chief Executive at Spectra Group, said: “The Troposcatter COMET is a lightweight and easily deployable system that is operationally proven to meet the demands of warfighting deployable headquarters at all levels. We are extremely pleased to have this technology deployed with the Royal Marines, HQ ARRC and now 3 (UK) Division all rapidly procured via the NCIA Catalogue, and this contract award helps us to create and sustain our UK skilled workforce at our facility in Herefordshire in line with the UK MoD’s MoD’s Land Industrial Strategy (LIS). I am pleased to say we are also receiving significant orders for this capability from other NATO countries, more news to follow.”

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