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Iridium and Thales strengthen connections
Thales continues its work on satcoms with worldwide reach, and will now supply Iridium Certus connectivity, an L-band platform for two-way flight deck and cabin communications. FANS and ADS-C will be included.

Iridium Communications has appointed Thales as the newest Iridium Certus aviation service provider. While already developing the Iridium Certus-based FlytLINK terminal and antenna, Thales will now be able to offer both Iridium Certus terminals and Iridium Certus connectivity services to business jets, commercial aircraft, rotorcraft, general aviation and UAVs. Iridium Certus is said to be the only L-band broadband platform providing global connectivity and once aviation terminal are available, will provide a state-of-the-art solution for two-way flight deck and business cabin communications.

Iridium Certus will turbocharge the company's existing suite of aircraft safety services, including providing Iridium Future Air Navigation System (FANS) applications such as standard and enhanced ADS-C, controller-pilot data link communications and ATS Safety Voice, once certifications are complete. Beyond safety services, Iridium Certus will deliver flight deck and business cabin-friendly internet capabilities such as electronic flight bag services, graphical weather, blackbox streaming, email, credit card processing, VPN access and social media posting and monitoring.

“As the aviation industry continues to adopt satcom as a primary means of long-range communications, reliable and cost-effective systems with truly global coverage are becoming an increasing necessity,” says Iridium director and general manager of aviation Michael Hooper. “The Iridium Certus platform will provide the only solutions that meet the coverage, cost and capability requirements for this new generation of aircraft communications, and we're excited to further expand our close partnership with Thales to bring these capabilities to market.”

Thales plans to be first to market with an Iridium Certus aviation product and has a unique place in the Iridium Certus partner ecosystem as the only company manufacturing land, maritime and aviation terminals. This includes a hybrid FlytLINK solution that combines Iridium Certus capabilities with Iridium's traditional narrowband services, including safety services, which will be available with its initial release.

“We're excited about our aero solution on Iridium Certus and intend to be first to market. Thales FlytLINK will empower customers to achieve their big ambitions, and we're proud to help them do that. This marks another big step towards a long-lasting relationship with Iridium and bringing connectivity to users worldwide,” adds Thales InFlyt Experience vice president of connectivity solutions Craig Olson.

With low latency and superior performance capabilities compared to alternatives, Iridium Certus will be the ideal solution for the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) capability deployed in Europe for domestic en-route communications. Looking ahead, Iridium has also been working closely with major international aviation organisations and ANSPs on the development of the ATN Internet Protocol Suite (IPS), which will offer a more efficient and capable alternative to existing options for aircraft transitioning from oceanic to domestic satellite communications.

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