The U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will place satellite-based flight tracking and communication equipment on search-and-rescue Sikorsky Aircraft Sea Kings to augment existing communication with radio operators.
Blue Sky Network’s D1000C satellite modem and ACH1000 advanced communications control head will be used on 25 RAF Sea Kings and 15 Navy Sea Kings to connect them to its SkyRouter tracking and two-way messaging system. The United Kingdom may acquire systems for other aircraft as well.
Blue Sky tracks aircraft using Global Positioning System data and provides communications and messaging for them through the Iridium satellite constellation.
Blue Sky said the United Kingdom will install its system on 85 percent of SAR aircraft in use in that nation. The Blue Sky system is installed on Sikorsky S-92s operated by Cougar Helicopters in Canada and Sikorsky S-61s operated by Cougar in the Gulf of Mexico.