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Communications specialist Spectra Group has joined Athena, the new national space team for the UK, consisting of CGI UK, Inmarsat, Lockheed Martin UK and Serco, the company announced on 10 March. Envisioned to grow and adapt for purpose, Athena is a principles-based alliance, with an aim of better forging relationships across the UK’s space sector and to bid together on a number of growth opportunities.

Spectra joins Athena to bring specific expertise to the area of UK defence and government satellite communications. The company’s SlingShot system, a recent recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation, is a unique, lightweight system that enables existing, in-service tactical military and commercial VHF/UHF radios to use Inmarsat’s L-TAC service. The technology delivers beyond line-of-sight communications on the move with low-latency voice and data connectivity to radio networks for ground, vehicle, maritime and airborne platforms. SlingShot provides reliable, secure C2 communications between widely dispersed military forces and/or civilian agencies operating in austere and hostile environments, without the cost, delay or logistical challenges of deploying additional infrastructure.

Athena member companies have joined forces to amplify the sum of their parts, enhancing British space industry capabilities through meaningful collaboration. With best-in-class experience across a wide variety of technology and services, spanning defence, aerospace, communications and information technology, Athena aims to be a force for positive change in the space industry, building a strategic, innovative future on the impressive heritage of the companies involved.

Joining Athena is a key step for Spectra Group in a world undergoing transformational change, driving a universal desire for a more united approach to the future in space for the UK. By combining our strengths in a national team and contributing with our specific skillset, Spectra Group and Athena will help the UK space sector seamlessly transition from the strong foundations of today, to the endless possibilities of tomorrow,” commented CEO Simon Davies.

Spectra’s utility to the consortium rests firmly on its communications systems expertise, founded in large part on its innovative SlingShot solution. (Photo: Spectra Group (UK) Ltd)

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