Thales and Honeywell have brokered an important partnership that will see the two companies work collaborating to bring the next generation of global broadband aircraft connectivity to the aviation industry.
Earlier this year Inmarsat selected Honeywell to develop, produce and distribute onboard hardware to users of its forthcoming Ka-band satellite-powered Global Xpress (GX) service. In a statement, Thales and Honeywell say they will work to integrate the Honeywell-well developed GX satcom avionics and antenna systems with Thales cabin network solutions.
Financial terms of the arrangement have not been disclosed.
Global Xpress VP aerospace Miranda Mills recently received a briefing from Honeywell about its progress. ‘The development programme is being well managed. We’re close to being able to build production units, and we’re looking at how to compress the schedule to satisfy the market. A prototype will be flying in 2013. Honeywell has a Boeing 757 [testbed] and has plans to be testing it and demoing to senior management very, very quickly,” she says.
At present, all parties are eyeing an early 2015 launch of GX on commercial aircraft, but “one of the opportunities we’re looking at is a compression of the schedule through some of the supply chain and there is a high probability we’ll be able to pull that schedule back into the end of the fourth quarter 2014”, reveals Mills.
Honeywell VP Jack Jacobs says: “Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Ka-band satellite connectivity system is a game changer and continues our tradition of providing the commercial aerospace market with innovative, proven and reliable products. We expect that this connectivity system will provide airlines with significantly larger bandwidth at a cost-effective price.”