US Littoral Border protected with SlingShot

Intelligence divisions of both the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department have actionable information that a small element of Islamic extremists is attempting to infiltrate the US through Eastern Canada. Their plan is to utilize small watercraft to cross from Canada into northern upstate New York where the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario meet.

Based on this intelligence, the Customs and Border Patrol department of DHS, along with their New York State Police partners, have planned a tactical intercept operation to capture and detain the suspects.

Due to the vast distances across upstate New York and Lake Ontario, line of sight radios are not reliable or effective among the dense forest or the long distances. Secondly, Federal and New York State Law Enforcement agencies utilize different tactical radios that are not compatible when operating in line of sight modes.

The on-scene commander from CBP makes the tactical decision that commercial satellite communications is a more effective way to C2 and coordinate among the various agencies and across the expanse of terrain. Spectra Group’s SlingShot/LTAC system is chosen to provide the COMSATCOM solution for this intercept operation.

SlingShot allows all elements at the Federal and State levels to operate on a single tactical voice network that stretches from Watertown in the west to Massena to the north and back to the New York State Capitol in Albany to the south. A single spot beam over that area is sufficient to provide the COMSATCOM coverage required.

Around the Globe, users of the award-winning SlingShot system recognise the unique communications edge this game-changing technology offers.
Conceived to meet demanding Special Forces requirements, SlingShot is a unique, low size, weight and power (SWaP) system that enables existing UHF and VHF tactical radios to work Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) and on the move By utilising Inmarsat’s L-band tactical satellite service (L-TAC), SlingShot allows a net to be created over 1000s of miles, delivering a comprehensive range of tactical and operational network capabilities. SlingShot provides voice and data capability for Command and Control (C2), encrypted if required, to support wide-ranging mission-critical applications. With greater capability compared to traditional systems, guaranteed channel availability, and virtually no increase in the training burden, SlingShot is rapidly redefining tactical communications.

What does SlingShot offer Border Security Operations in the littoral environment?

SlingShot allows coastal and offshore border security operations to run seamlessly with all agencies and platforms enjoying the all-informed radio net provided by SlingShot, extending their existing radios’ range of operation over 1000s of miles. Multiple agencies can talk on land, airborne, or at sea. The Communications On The Move capability also allows all operationally deployed elements to communicate without the necessity to pause and acquire the satellite – essential when tracking fast-moving vessels that are attempting to evade being seen.

Simplicity, reliability and versatility ensure that SlingShot provides maximum utility with minimum cost, time and training burden

With a small external appliqué that connects directly to the users’ existing radio and requires no configuration, SlingShot eliminates the need for re-equipping and demands minimal training, reducing the cognitive burden on the operator. SlingShot’s reliability as a communications system stems from the provision of critical voice; when the user transmits, the assigned channel instantaneously transfers the message to an all-informed network, exactly like a radio net. This is the significant difference between SlingShot and other range-extension systems that provide either an on-demand channel, where a channel is provided only if available, or Voice over IP (VoIP)/Radio Over IP (RoIP), where there is no guarantee of the IP network providing a circuit when needed, therefore giving no guarantee that the message will get through.

With no reliance on additional infrastructure, SlingShot enables high tempo operations in remote locations

BLOS communications have traditionally been complex and time-consuming to establish, particularly when operating without recourse to conventional fixed infrastructure. Until now, military satellite technology and High Frequency Radios have been the principle means used to establish BLOS communications. However, the UHF TACSAT antennae required are large and must be pointed towards the satellite to establish a communications link, compelling the user to remain stationary in order to communicate. With its omnidirectional antennae, optimised to be man-portable or easily fitted to vehicle, maritime and aviation platforms, SlingShot allows teams to communicate instantly and on the move.

Unlike many traditional communications systems, SlingShot is not limited by terrain or degraded by weather and darkness; so critical lines of communication can be relied upon 24 hours a day, from virtually any platform or location.

SlingShot offers the key defining capability of providing a collaborative network for interoperability; permitting seamless inter-agency communications between individuals or organisations. By creating a unified L-Band net SlingShot can provide the foundation for complex operations supported by any number of discrete agencies.

Feature sponsor: Spectra Group