WASHINGTON — Viasat announced June 27 it received an order for eight satellite communications terminals for Spain’s military’s maritime patrol aircraft. The contract, for an undisclosed amount, is for Viasat’s multi-band terminals, which will be integrated into Spain’s fleet of C295 maritime surveillance aircraft.

The California-based satellite operator will supply GAT-5530s, short for Global Aero Terminal 5530, a hybrid Ka- and Ku-band aviation satcom terminal designed to communicate with constellations in different orbits and frequencies. The terminals on the C295 tactical airlifter will connect to commercial satellites as well as Spain’s next-generation military constellation, SpainSat NG, currently under development.

SpainSat NG is Spain’s upcoming military communications satellite system for defense and government use. The system consists of two satellites scheduled for launch in late 2024 or 2025, intended to replace the existing Spainsat and XTAR-EUR satellites.

Viasat will work with Airbus Defense and Space to integrate the terminals onto the C295 aircraft. Airbus serves as a prime contractor for both the C295 platform and the SpainSat NG satellites. The Spanish Ministry of Defense in December ordered 16 C295 aircraft for $1.8 billion.

C295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Credit: Airbus

The GAT-5530 terminals support the entire ITU Ku- and Ka-bands, including military Ka-band, as well as multi-orbit communications with systems in geostationary, medium and highly elliptical orbits.

This contract follows a similar deal with the Irish Army Air Corps, to which Viasat is supplying two GAT-5530 terminals for their C295 maritime patrol aircraft.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...