Spectra Group joins Athena– the UK’s new national space team

10 March 2021 – Spectra Group, the internationally renowned specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems, has joined Athena, the UK’s new national space team to work on government satellite communication opportunities together. Athena is a diverse and agile commercial coalition made up of Serco, Inmarsat, CGI UK and Lockheed Martin UK. Envisioned to grow and adapt for purpose, Athena is a principles-based alliance, with an aim of better forging relationships across the UK’s space sector and to bid together on a number of growth opportunities.

Spectra Group, a UK Government Top 100 SME supplier, has joined Athena to bring specific expertise to the area of UK defence and government satellite communications. Spectra’s SlingShot system, which was recently awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation, is a unique, lightweight system that enables existing, in-service tactical military and commercial VHF/UHF radios to utilise Inmarsat’s L-TAC service. The technology delivers Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) Comms on the Move (COTM) with low-latency voice and data connectivity to radio networks for ground, vehicle, maritime and airborne platforms.  SlingShot’s unique capability provides reliable, secure command and control communications between widely dispersed military forces and/or civilian agencies operating in austere and hostile environments, without the cost, delay or logistical challenges of deploying additional infrastructure.

As world-leading, UK-based organisations, Athena member companies have joined forces to amplify the sum of their parts, enhancing the nation’s space industry capabilities through meaningful collaboration. With best-in-class experience across a wide variety of technology and services, spanning defence, aerospace, communications and information technology, Athena was formed to help deliver prosperity and security as part of the UK space industry. Together, Athena aims to be a force for positive change in the space industry, building a strategic, innovative future on the experienced and proven foundations of the impressive heritage of the companies involved.

Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra Group said: “Joining Athena is a key step for Spectra Group in a world undergoing transformational change, driving a universal desire for a more united approach to the future in space for the UK. By combining our strengths in a national team and contributing with our specific skillset, Spectra Group and Athena will help the UK space sector seamlessly transition from the strong foundations of today, to the endless possibilities of tomorrow.”

Todd McDonell, President, Global Government at Inmarsat said: “Expertise and experience increasingly matters to defence customers and being able to incorporate highly skilled specialisations from leading UK SME companies brings benefit to both the UK economy at large, as well as to the UK Space agenda. Spectra has demonstrated a specialist skillset in delivering tactical radio communications globally, from their UK based expert teams. We see having Spectra join the Athena team as a great way to enhance the critical delivery of leading edge, space based services being offered to the UK Government.”