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German Navy to equip its F126 frigates with Thales' SurfSAT-L satellite communication system.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to a PR published by Thales on February 19, 2024, the German Navy is set to enhance its F126 frigates with Thales' SurfSAT-L satellite communication (SatCom) system.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of a future German F126 frigate. (Picture source: Thales)

This upgrade includes the installation of several SatCom terminals and a Land Based Training System, aimed at boosting long-range connectivity at sea. The addition of the SurfSAT-L system underscores the importance of reliable communication for naval vessels, particularly for the F126 frigates which are poised to be among the largest in the German naval fleet.

Designed to withstand the operational challenges of naval missions, including adverse weather, high-speed maneuvers, and electronic warfare, the SurfSAT-L terminals will provide the F126 frigates with a secure and resilient connection. This is crucial for maintaining communication between the ships and command centers, regardless of the operational theatre's geographic constraints.

The procurement includes four SurfSAT-L terminals and one Land Based Training System, indicating a significant step forward in enhancing the German Navy's satellite communication capabilities.

The SurfSAT-L system is noted for its robust design, ease of use, and rapid deployment capabilities, making it a valuable asset for a wide range of naval vessels, from frigates to aircraft carriers.

With its advanced pointing system and radio-frequency power, the SurfSAT-L is engineered to overcome challenges such as severe jamming and cyber threats, ensuring secure data transmission under various operational conditions. The system's versatility extends to providing not only mission-critical information but also welfare communications for the crew, such as television and internet access.

The F126 frigates will benefit from a high-power tri-band SatCom solution capable of operating across military and civilian Ka bands, as well as the X band, facilitating simultaneous data transmission.

This enables the ships to connect with both Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites, enhancing coverage and connectivity. This capability ensures the frigates' ability to maintain optimal communication, even within complex satellite architectures.

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