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Focus: GISS
Michal Mazurek, Senior Sales + Business Manager


A MILSATCOM Solution For Polish Armed Forces

Military satellite communication (MILSATCOM) technology is the most important communication system available on the modern battlefield. Among all of the advantages that this technology brings to end users, the following are particularly important: reliability, the ability of expansion over long distances and the difficulty of hostile jamming of communications. 

These advantages led to the first communication satellites being placed in Earth’s orbit as early as the 1960s. Since then, a long and dynamic journey has led to today where SATCOM has become a widely available communications medium in use by militaries and governments and the civilian community. 

The dynamics of progress in the field of satellite communications cause many current solutions to become obsolete rather quickly, particularly with MILSATCOM technologies. This means that users of satellite networks are forced to constantly keep an eye on industry capabilities in order to implement modern technologies that will ensure the highest operational efficiency. With a wide global market, companies from all over the world continuously compete to deliver increasingly, improved technologies. 

Currently, the expansion program of a MILSATCOM network at the disposal of Polish Armed Forces is being realized. Intensive modernization of the communication system began in early 2000s when the Polish Army procured portable 4.6 meter stations and dozens of 1.8 to 2.4 meter satellite terminals. 

In 2018, the Armament Inspectorate (now the nation’s Armament Agency) signed a contract for the development of a satellite Earth station located in Poland. The project included the installation of three hub stations with antenna sizes ranging from 6 to 9 meters and providing C-, X-, and Ku-band capabilities. The delivery of this system was the first installation of this sort in the Polish Army. 

In 2021, the Armament Inspectorate began to expand the infrastructure with equipment manufactured by ND SATCOM GmbH, using SKYWAN SR-X 5G devices. ND SATCOM equipment has been widely used by the Polish Armed Forces since the introduction of satellite systems. 

In 2022, another proceeding was finalized, a result of which was the selection of GISS as the supplier of 100 Manpack class terminal units for the Polish Armament Agency. One reason for this selection is that GISS has been a leading provider of SATCOM solutions in Poland since 2012. 

The project contract was issued on February 28, 2022, with implementation to occur between 2022 and 2024. The PLN 38.1 million ($8.8 million) contract will involve the delivery of portable SHF tactical-level satellite terminals (pictured, right) that will provide reliable, mobile, and territorially unlimited MILSATCOM, according to an Armament Agency announcement. 

As part of the months-long bid preparation, a number of customizations to meet end-user requirements were made to the existing GISS Manpack COBALT equipment that has been in service by the Polish SOF since 2018. The Polish Ministry of Defense (MoD) requires that the terminal be operational with two sizes of antenna reflectors as well as provide SCPC and TDMA operation. 

GISS Cobalt terminal.

As part of the proposed solution, GISS presented a system that integrates the equipment of Teledyne Paradise Datacom and other leading manufacturers of satellite technology, whose products are in use by the Polish army. The complex design and testing process was made possible, thanks to the infrastructure of the GISS R&D center located in the Warsaw area. The research center was commissioned in March 2021 with the center’s development financed with European Union (EU) funds. 

Finally, a project proposal was submitted... 

• Supply of complete satellite terminals equipped with 60 cm and 100 cm antennas and two independent modems and ensuring operation in Ku- and X-bands 
• Spare parts kits to ensure uninterrupted operation of the delivered system 
• Measuring equipment 
• Transportation equipment consisting of transit cases and backpacks 
• RACK version satellite modems as management infrastructure equipment 
• Sets of portable chargers that are adapted for use with BB- 2590 batteries, designed by GISS. 

In addition, the scope of the project also covered the organization of comprehensive personnel training, including the GISS instruction of users, the instructors themselves and the technical staff. 

Andrzej Puścian, CEO of GISS, said, “I am proud that the GISS team has achieved this incredibly important milestone in the life of our company, which confirms its ability to respond quickly to market needs in the area of satellite communications. Delivering products that fully meet the expectations of our partners has always been our core value.” 

Author Michal Mazurek is the Senior Sales and Business Development Manager at GISS.​