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June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) and the U.S. Navy have successfully completed an in-flight demonstration of a satellite communications (SATCOM) system that, if implemented, will enable F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircrews to conduct two-way, secure voice and data communications with other SATCOM-enabled aircraft, ships, ground forces and command centers.

The test took place May 23-30 at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Advanced Weapons Lab at China Lake, Calif., and was conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-31.

The SATCOM system was installed on a Navy EA-18G Growler – a variant of the F/A-18F that includes a SATCOM antenna.

During the flight testing, the VX-31 aircrew conducted satellite-enabled secure voice and data transmissions with a ground-based team at China Lake and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

"Using the existing EA-18G architecture allowed Boeing and the Navy to demonstrate this capability less than 90 days after the initial request," said Mike Gibbons, Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs vice president. "This approach significantly reduced risk, cost and testing schedule, while demonstrating this important communications capability for the Navy."

The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a low observable, multirole aircraft that performs virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 480 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy.  The F/A-18E/F has logged more than 166,000 combat flight hours supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: PR Newswire (

Telesat's Nimiq 6 Satellite Begins Commercial Service


Jun 15, 2012

 Telesat, announced the start of commercial service on its new Nimiq 6 satellite. The entire capacity of Nimiq 6 is contracted for 15 years to Bell TV, Canada's largest provider of satellite direct-to-home (DTH) television services.

"Telesat has achieved an important objective with the entry into service of Nimiq 6," said Dan Goldberg, Telesat's President and CEO. "Nimiq 6 will complement Bell TV's existing DTH satellite fleet, adding power and capacity to better serve its customers across Canada. Nimiq 6 is also expected to make a meaningful contribution to Telesat's financial results in 2012 and for years to come. I am particularly pleased that we were able to start commercial service on this powerful, new satellite just four weeks after its launch, an impressive technical and operational achievement."

Nimiq 6 was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) and is based on SS/L's highly reliable 1300 platform. The satellite was launched May 18, 2012 from the Baikonur Space Center in the Republic of Kazakhstan. It has an expected 15 year mission life, a launch mass of 4500 kg, and will operate from the 91.1 degrees West orbital location. Orbit raising and in-orbit testing and delivery to the 91.1 West location were completed in less than four weeks due to the use of Telesat's innovative in-orbit testing system, and close cooperation between SS/L and Telesat.