Press Release

Airbus Defence and Space Partners with Hughes for Ultra-Compact Satellite Terminal for Portable X-Band Service

By SpaceRef Editor
November 3, 2014
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Airbus Defence and Space has chosen Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) as its terminal development partner for a new ultra-compact and lightweight X-band satellite terminal for a new service named XeBRA (Zee-brah). Utilizing Hughes’ innovative modem and waveform technology, the less than 12 lbs terminal provides an ultra-lightweight portable voice and data capability suitable for tactical military environments.

Key to service delivery is the use of Airbus Defence and Space’s global X-band military communications satellite system (Skynet) whose unique features enable superior mobility with all the security benefits of X-band. “The high power and unique beam forming capabilities of our four Skynet 5 satellites mean we can provide reliable and secure high broadband speed X-band services to small terminals. With this new small proven X-band terminal from Hughes we can enhance the mobility of users in the field,” says Colin Paynter, Head of Airbus Defence and Space UK.

The terminal is the first of its kind and ideal for transmitting full motion video via secure remote access. At less than 12 lbs (5.4 kg) in weight and approximately 3 x 10 x 9 inches (8 x 25.8 x 23 centimetres) in size, the terminal is the smallest X-band terminal available and can deliver up to 512 kbps through the Skynet 5 system, which is enough to transmit high quality video conferencing or online streaming services. It is easily stowable and man-portable for transport on foot for Communications on the Pause (COTP) operations.

“We are excited about working with Airbus Defence and Space and applying Hughes’ innovations in modem and packaging technology to this ground-breaking service,” said Rick Lober, Vice President and General Manager of Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems Division.

The Hughes terminal is highly reliable and can operate with standard military battery packs. Satellite pointing and acquisition are easily achieved using a built in LCD screen and adjustable stand which allows the terminal to maintain connectivity and throughput in harsh environmental conditions.

Find out more about XeBRA at Global MilSatCom November 4th – 6th in London, UK at booth 23 for Airbus Defence and Space and booth 13 for Hughes.

About Hughes Network Systems

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) is the world’s leading provider of satellite broadband for home and office, delivering innovative network technologies, managed services, and solutions for enterprises and governments globally. HughesNet® is the #1 high-speed satellite Internet service in the marketplace, with offerings to suit every budget. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 4 million systems to customers in over 100 countries, representing approximately 50 percent market share. Its products employ global standards approved by the TIA, ETSI and ITU organizations, including IPoS/DVB-S2, RSM-A, and GMR-1.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes operates sales and support offices worldwide, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite operations and digital TV solutions. For additional information about Hughes, please visit

©2014 Hughes Network Systems, LLC, an EchoStar company. Hughes and HughesNet are registered trademarks of Hughes Network Systems, LLC. 

Hughes Network Systems
Dan Brown, 301-601-7216


Sage Communications
Jennifer Hoil, 703-533-1863

SpaceRef staff editor.