Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband successfully supports General Atomics trans-Atlantic test flight

SwiftBroadband delivers resilient, seamless, redundant connectivity for first-ever trans-Atlantic flight of a Medium-altitude, Long-endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft

July 12, 2018: Inmarsat Government, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications and managed network services to the U.S. government, today announced it has successfully supported General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI) in the trans-Atlantic flight test with Inmarsat’s L-band service, SwiftBroadband, delivering resilient, seamless, redundant connectivity throughout the duration of the journey.

The trans-Atlantic flight test was the first-ever transatlantic flight of a Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). GA ASI-owned MQ-9B SkyGuardian™ RPA flew from the company’s Flight Test and Training Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA, to the Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford base in Gloucestershire, UK.

SwiftBroadband operates over the Inmarsat-4 (I-4) satellite constellation, covering all major aviation routes, and every hidden island getaway therein, worldwide. With this always available global coverage, it eliminates the need for forward deployed ground infrastructure for command and control as well as take-off and landing operations, an option that is not commonly available for traditional RPA operations.

During the remotely piloted flight, SwiftBroadband delivered seamless, worldwide coverage across multiple spot beams and satellites, ensuring no gaps in coverage and performance. The service also provided full flexibility in route selection for the long endurance flight, while supporting mission-critical and time-sensitive data applications to include imagery and video. SwiftBroadband enabled full command and control of the RPA, delivering 100% control and visibility for the entire flight.

“Inmarsat is proud to have been part of this historical endeavour with General Atomics. Our history of commitment to safety services drives our global mobility-centric strategy, unique in the market. As a result, the trans-Atlantic flight test benefited from reliable and uniform worldwide seamless coverage, flexibility, resilience and security, ensuring success of the RPA’s mission,” said Kai Tang, Chief Commercial Officer, Inmarsat Government.

In use today on multiple platforms and missions, government and commercial operations are using Inmarsat’s reliable, worldwide L-band space and ground network through Inmarsat type approved antennas (as small as 5 inches) at unprecedented data rates (as high as 10Mbps x 10Mbps), built for manned and unmanned aeronautical platforms. These solutions provide users unparalleled coverage and performance for their aeronautical connectivity needs, while retaining the ease of use, reliability and low cost of ownership provided by Inmarsat’s global network.

For more information on the Transatlantic Flight test visit:

For further information
Alena Koci
Vice President, Marketing
Inmarsat Government
+1 (703) 621.6425

About Inmarsat Government
The U.S. government has relied on and trusted Inmarsat satellite services since 1979. Inmarsat Government continues to deliver the world’s most advanced global, mobile satellite communication services to U.S. defense, intelligence, homeland security, public safety and civilian agencies, with highly reliable, secure and affordable connectivity. Built with government users in mind, Inmarsat Government provides resilient, flexible capabilities to augment government satellite resources, anytime, anywhere. Leveraging an industry-leading scalable multiband network infrastructure, Inmarsat Government offers a suite of managed network services and end-to-end communication solutions to support users on land, at sea and in the air, even in the world's most remote regions. Headquartered in Reston, VA, Inmarsat Government is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc.

The Inmarsat press release newsfeed and corporate updates are on @InmarsatGlobal.

Recommended services

  • Aerospace Terminals

    Our aeronautical products include legacy and classic Inmarsat services, as well as maritime terminals from Honeywell/EMS Satcom, we largely offer SwiftBroadband through Cobham terminals.
  • Program Management

    Throughout the lifecycle of your project, you’ll be dealing with a single point of contact: an experienced, certified Program Manager who can provide analysis, planning, management, and reviews. Our PMs don’t just build networks—they build confidence.
  • Customer Support

    You might need support at any time, so we’re here for you 24/7/365. You want problem-solvers, not message takers—so we’re staffed with skilled, security-cleared, U.S.-based professionals. We’re here for you around the clock, end-to-end.
  • Mobile Satellite Services

    You need reliable and secure communications in remote locations, where other networks are unreliable—or nonexistent. That’s when our rapidly deployable and easily scalable mobile services shine.