GE Aviation lands Boeing contract for military satellite navigation


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GE Aviation in Grand Rapids has won a contract to provide inertial navigation technology for Boeing’s next generation satellite communications systems.

GE will provide the inertial reference units for the aircraft company’s wideband phased array satellite systems for airborne mobile communications for the military.

GE Aviation spokesperson Jennifer Villarreal said the contract does not permit GE to reveal the actual contract value, but she said it is a multi-million dollar project.

The inertial reference unit provides orientation and position, using Global Positioning System data. It has a wide variety of military applications on land, in the air and at sea, for the purposes of surveillance, target acquisition, and satellite antenna pointing. The reference unit combines inertial data and GPS data to provide the user with high accuracy through continuous location, heading, pitch, and roll data in both stationary and moving vehicles.

“Tactical inertial navigation is an area of expertise for our team,” said George Kiefer, vice president/general manager of Avionics North America for GE Aviation in Grand Rapids. “The inertial reference unit delivers continuous navigation data required for next-generation satellite communication systems in stationary and moving vehicles and aircraft.”

Boeing’s state-of-the-art Ka-band phased-array SATCOM antenna system allows a significant increase in bandwidth offered by next-generation Ka-band satellites, to transport data between aircraft in flight and the ground network.

GE Aviation, part of GE (NYSE: GE), is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military and business aircraft.

The Grand Rapids GE Aviation plant is located in Cascade Township near the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and employs about 1,350 people.

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