Saudi Arabian selects Thales TopFlight satcom for 777s

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Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) has selected Thales' TopFlight satcom for its new Boeing 777s.

The Thales system consists of an ARINC 781 compliant satellite data unit (SDU) and its configuration module, which brings "a breakthrough in satcom size and performance", said Thales.

"Housed in a single enclosure, the SDU makes it a cost-effective solution equally applicable to short haul and long haul aircraft, as well as regional aircraft," added the firm.

Specific terms of the agreement between Saudi Arabian and Thales have not been disclosed.

In addition to supporting Inmarsat's higher-speed SwiftBroadband aeronautical service, the TopFlight satcom continues to support Inmarsat 'Classic' service for flight deck voice and data connectivity, which is considered an essential part of oceanic FANS (Future Air Navigation System) and Air Traffic Services communications.

The two channel cards can be configured for Classic or Swiftbroadband, which will allow Saudi Arabian to provide mandatory cockpit voice and data communications with one card, and leave the second card available for either a second cockpit voice or a SwiftBroadband connection at 432 kbps.

"These additional capabilities of Internet Protocol based broadband provide a efficient and cost effective growing path for ground-air communication as part of electronic flight bag and aircraft system monitoring," said Thales.