Nato enables allied navies to access satellite communications

28 May 2020 (Last Updated May 28th, 2020 12:09)

The Nato Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has enabled its allied navies to access satellite communications, enhance their maritime operations, and update the cryptographic equipment on their ships.

Nato enables allied navies to access satellite communications
The NCI Agency has enabled its Allies to access satellite communications, enhancing their maritime operations. Credit: North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The Nato Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has enabled its allied navies to access satellite communications, enhance their maritime operations, and update the cryptographic equipment on their ships.

Earlier this year, the German Navy received satellite coverage from the NCI Agency. The navy’s frigate FGS Baden-Wurttemberg was running tropical weather trials in the Caribbean at the time.

Nato experts, with the help of military satellites, arranged the required bandwidth and connectivity to the vessel.

This helped the frigate to execute the mission and permitted the German Navy to avoid a protracted and expensive tender.

German Navy Captain Thomas Ackermann said: “Whenever they wish to convey a message of appreciation and gratitude, Nato mariners use the signal BRAVO ZULU.

“I would like to relay my BRAVO ZULU to all people that were involved in providing connectivity for FGS Baden-Wurttemberg.”

The satellite communications capability of Nato is provided by France, Italy, the UK and the US.

In the following 15 years, Nato plans to further invest €1bn ($1.1bn) in satellite services.

The satellite communications assist a diverse range of operations, including intelligence gathering and navigation, tracking forces across the globe, and detecting missile launches.

Simultaneously, the NCI Agency is delivering accessories that will help allies to replace and upgrade cryptographic equipment on their maritime vessels.

Cryptographic equipment is used between ships, participating in Nato missions and operations for secure communications.

Last week, Standing Nato Maritime Group One (SNMG1) participated in the Swedish naval exercise (SWENEX), conducted from 11 to 21 May off the southern coast of Sweden in the waters of Skagerak and the Baltic Sea.