Cobham/Collins to manufacture Iridium NEXT terminals

An Iridium NEXT satellite
An Iridium NEXT satellite

Iridium Communications has selected Cobham SATCOM and Rockwell Collins as official manufacturing partners for its Iridium Certus broadband terminals.

This is for a new generation of satellite services based on the forthcoming Iridium NEXT constellation.

Iridium said in November that the first planned NEXT satellite launch would be in mid-2015. It is now likely to be October.

Cobham plans a new line of Iridium Certus terminals for users in the aeronautical sector, ready for the launch of new global broadband services.

As a value-added manufacturer, Rockwell Collins will also design and manufacture the terminals, which will enable users to utilise Iridium Certus, the voice and data service enabled by the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation.

The Iridium NEXT constellation will consist of 66 low-Earth orbit inter-connected satellites. It introduces a number of new and expanded capabilities, including greater capacity, bandwidth and data speeds, while retaining the global (pole-to-pole) data services Iridium supports today.

Iridium Certus broadband services will be used for commercial, government, and safety communications; areas that Cobham SATCOM already serves with its existing portfolio of L, Ku, Ka and C-band satellite terminals.

Paul Jona, Senior Vice President Cobham SATCOM, said: “We are delighted to become an official Iridium Certus manufacturing partner and look forward to being part of the massive opportunities that these new services will introduce for satcom users and service providers.

“The inherent advantages of the Iridium NEXT constellation and our expertise in L-band product development allow us to offer innovative communications solutions, providing our diverse customer base in the aeronautical and maritime markets access to the full suite of compelling Iridium Certus services.”

Steve Timm, Vice President and General Manager, Air Transport Systems for Rockwell Collin, added: “We also see the potential to offer services through our ARINC information management services, giving customers a single source for their Iridium NEXT connectivity needs.”

Bryan Hartin, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Iridium, said: “Our selection demonstrates our long-term strategy to offer superior communications platforms while staying true to our wholesale model – working with our partners as the best way to address growing, diverse markets.”

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