Thales to supply satellite communication tech for German F126 frigates

Defence company Thales has been contracted to provide satellite communications for the F126 frigates with SurfSAT-L solutions. 


The German Navy will be equipped with SurfSAT-L system, which includes several satellite communication (SatCom) terminals as well as a Land Based Training System. A total of four SurfSAT-L and one Land Based Training System will be delivered to the German Navy. 

SurfSAT-L’s versatile, high-precision pointing system can cope with extreme situations such as adverse weather and sea conditions, combat speeds and accelerations, as well as electromagnetic warfare, according to Thales.

Its radio-frequency power is essential for overcoming severe jamming, interference and cyber-attacks. Its scalability and easy integration make this SatCom an agile communications tool, adapted to all operational contexts.

Furthermore, it has been designed to share sensitive and protected data of various kinds (radar data, cartography, voice messages, optronic information, videos, etc.), as well as to exchange welfare data for the crew, including TV and Internet provision and the transmission of administrative data.

F126 will be equipped with a very high-power tri-band (Ka mil, Ka civil, X) SatCom solution enabling simultaneous transmission on these three frequencies. The system is capable of connecting to Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites, both military and commercial, for optimal connectivity and extended coverage for the German Navy’s F126 frigates.

“Thales SatCom SurfSAT solutions have proven their capabilities in operational use for over 15 years within the French Navy as well as within the naval forces of several other countries in Europe and the Middle East. We are very proud and honoured to be able to count on the confidence of the German Navy to equip its F126 frigates with our new-generation satellite communication systems,” Alexandre Bottero, Vice-President Network and Infrastructure Systems Business Line.

Designed for ships from frigates to aircraft carriers, SurfSAT-L has been used by the French Navy and has already been adopted by five other countries in Europe and the Middle East. 

The F126 frigates, designed by Damen Naval, will be the largest in the German naval fleet and will be capable of operating in all latitudes.

They require protected resilient satellite communications that meet the elongation constraints between the theatre of operations and the command centers of maritime operations to fulfill their missions.

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