Hughes Network Systems, LLC's (HUGHES) Defense and Intelligence Systems Division (DISD) reports a success when they demonstrated their HM300 portable terminal. Designed specifically for the military the terminal was requested by the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) G6 at the C4I Conference in 2015 for "a new capability" that would significantly improve Satellite Communications.
Hughes got to work and delivered the HM300 portable terminal that provides portable satellite communications capability for early entry units, forward deployed teams, long range scout teams and executive communications with the following essential attributes:
- assured bandwidth on demand
- supporting airborne operations
- reduced size, weight and power (SWaP) for Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions
The HM300 provides portable X-Band communications and was developed in conjunction with Hughes team partners Airbus Defense and Space of United Kingdom (UK) and Tampa Microwave.
Dan Losada, senior director of DoD programs at Hughes DISD stated, "These tests successfully demonstrate the numerous scenarios of the HM300 terminal's operational flexibility with the XEBRA Service as a reliable, durable and cost-effective communications solution. Its rapid deployment capability, with only minimal training requirements and avoidance of high service cost, makes it an ideal fit for the evolving needs of the military."
During tests in December between a satellite Earth station located in the UK and Fort Bragg, North Carolina operating over Airbus' XEBRA service, the HM300 demonstrated beyond-line-of-sight (BLoS) capabilities with data rates up to 512kbps symmetrically, transmitting video, voice and data.
A second mission scenario demonstrated autonomous operation transmitting to and from a 4.0M GATR Antenna located at Fort Bragg, providing VoIP and live video using an encoder. In January, the HM300 terminal was deployed during a Combat Airborne Training Operation, when a paratrooper jumped the HM300 terminal while another jumped baseband equipment, demonstrating the terminal's SWaP benefits and earning it a "jumpable" designation.