Boeing has signed a contract with General
Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems to produce a new radome,
the Boeing Tri-band.
The radome will support Ku and K/Ka wideband
commercial and military satellite communications.
Tri-band radome is the latest of several Boeing initiatives to
provide reliable passenger services, such as inflight use for cell
phones, internet access via Wi-Fi connectivity and live satellite
television broadcasts. It will be available for both retrofit and
production airplane installation in the fourth quarter of 2015.
A radome, a combination of “radar” and “dome,”
is a weatherproof structure that protects an airplane’s antenna to
enable reliable satellite communications. The Boeing Tri-band is approximately the size of a car-top luggage carrier and has a
maximum weight of 80 pounds. It is designed for use with antennas
from multiple manufacturers and with data services from all current providers, offering more passenger connectivity choices
for Boeing airplane operators.
Based on Boeing’s proven
Ku-band radome design, the new design meets or exceeds current
Ku-band radome performance and also provides industry-leading
performance for Ka-band operators.
“The Boeing Tri-band
exemplifies the kind of competitive advantage we aim to give our
customers,” said Rick Anderson, vice president, Sales, Boeing
Commercial Airplanes. “Airlines are telling us that the Boeing
Tri-band’s affordability, flexibility, wide range of capability
and compatibility with all current data services make it ideal for
their Boeing fleets, which have to quickly and economically adopt
new technology to better serve passengers.”
Dynamics will supply the radomes.
“General Dynamics and Boeing
have enjoyed a long partnership in radome development,” commented
Jim Losse, vice president and general manager, of Advanced
Materials for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems.
“This Ku/K/Ka tri-band system will offer the flying public better
in-flight entertainment and connectivity over current single band
The Tri-band radome can be mounted on new or
existing airplane mounting plates, which makes it simple and
economical to retrofit. The Tri-band supports satellite
communications at all frequencies currently used and planned for
use, in the Ku-band and extended K- and Ka-bands. Like all Boeing
radomes, it will meet all FAA environmental and safety
requirements, including the recently revised FAA regulations for
bird strike survivability.
The new radome is planned for
use as a line-fit option on Boeing 737s, 747s, 777s and 787
Dreamliners. It will also be available for retrofit.
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