News & Media

Spectra Group to exhibit “the most reliable communications system in Theater” at Satellite 2020 Exhibition in Washington DC

March 6, 2020

Spectra Group (US) Inc will be exhibiting at this year’s Satellite 2020 conference and exhibition taking place in Washington DC, 09-12 March 2020. Spectra Group (US) Inc is the US entity of Spectra Group (UK), an internationally renowned specialist provider of secure voice, data and satellite communications systems, specifically optimized for use in remote and challenging environments. They will be showcasing SlingShot, their award-winning tactical radio range extension system. Army users report that SlingShot is the only communications system they have in Theater that works 100% of the time.

Spectra’s SlingShot is used widely across the US Special Operations Force (SOF), providing tactical radio network range extension to well beyond line of sight, whist on the move and seamlessly between Coalition partners. The US Army Expeditionary Warfare Experiments (AEWE) 2019 also incorporated SlingShot where they evaluated it in all modes of operations with US and Coalition Partner forces.

Providing interoperability between UHF and VHF radios, SlingShot enabled US Commanders C2 of multinational recce formations, giving the US Ground Force Commander the ability to maintain uninterrupted voice communications with handheld tactical radios over a 90+ mile range while travelling at speeds in excess of 70 mph. In addition to receiving highly positive reviews from the participants and evaluators at AEWE 2019, the SlingShot system also received endorsement of its capabilities from the Cyber Center of Excellence Battle Lab providing network and communications technical support to AEWE 2019 evaluation.

Inmarsat Global, one of the Exhibition’s sponsors, will also be conducting an L-TAC / SlingShot presentation on the exhibition floor with Spectra on Wednesday at 11.15 at the Exhibition. For further information meet up with Spectra on Booth 1448 of the Satellite 2020 Exhibit Hall.

Alcon braking systems to be part of Patria’s breakthrough into widening military markets

February 17, 2020

Patria, a global market leader in the production of armoured wheeled vehicles, have been selected with their 6×6 platform to be part of a joint programme to develop sustained mobility enhancement for the Finnish and Latvian Armies. Alcon Components Ltd, world-class specialists in brake and clutch systems, is the principal supplier of braking components for Patria’s heavy armoured vehicle range, and specifically the Patria 6×6.

Alcon has worked closely with Patria to determine the specific requirements aligned to vehicle specification, usage profiles and operating environment; developing a bespoke braking system to match the needs of high-performance defence vehicles. With the exceptional performance of Patria’s wheeled vehicle range creating conditions close to that of a rally car in terms of disc and pad temperature cycling, Alcon were able to draw on their pedigree of providing braking solutions for the top echelons of motorsport to develop exclusive calliper and disc mounting concepts for Patria; a fusion of those seen on heavy commercial vehicles and high-performance motorsport.

The Patria 6×6 is acknowledged as being unrivalled in performance and mobility, setting new standards for all future armoured wheeled vehicles. Reliability is underlined by the multitude of commercial components used in the vehicle. Commercial components, long life-span and easy maintenance make the vehicle extremely cost-efficient; ideally matching the Finnish-Latvian programme’s aim to develop a common armoured wheeled vehicle system with enhanced mobility, cost-efficiency, interoperability and security of supply.
Alcon braking solutions have been sought out by some of the world’s finest defence industry vehicle OEMs. Amongst 18 defence and security equipment OEMs currently using or assessing Alcon systems, as well as Patria, Supacat, the designers of the Jackal, BAe, Ricardo and Jankel have turned to Alcon to deliver bespoke braking systems that fully meet the demanding requirements of the challenging, high-performance, modern-day battlefield.

Mr. Janne Räkköläinen, Vice President Vehicles, at Patria Land said: “Our 6×6 vehicle is designed to be operated in all conditions and it needs to deliver the solid performance throughout the various missions and operations. In addition to the performance, braking systems are safety critical elements of the vehicle so the complete reliability and fulfilment of requirements are top priority for us. We know we can rely on Alcon’s support and performance”.

Jonathan Edwards, Group Sales Director at Alcon said: “Alcon’s previous selection by Patria is an unqualified confirmation of Alcon’s status as a company that provides the finest bespoke braking systems to the global defence markets. We’re delighted that the Patria 6×6 has been selected for this programme and we look forward to a continued strong relationship with Patria as the programme evolves.” He added: “It is a key strategic company aim for Alcon to become the first-choice braking system supplier to defence vehicle companies across the globe. This recent announcement underlines our ability to deliver and become exactly that.”

What is L-TAC?

January 23, 2020

Spectra SlingShot® and Inmarsat L-TAC™: a unique partnership.

Spectra Group and Inmarsat-Global-Government have established a remarkable and successful partnership between their two complementary technologies. SlingShot and L-TAC. The combination allows users to augment and expand their existing tactical communications systems without the need to modify radio hardware or cryptography and in the knowledge that the channel is available where and when required. L-TAC channels are available on flexible leasing, from a month, and so can prove far more cost-efficient and flexible than comparable options. Working uniquely together, SlingShot and L-TAC offer a combination of reliable voice and data connectivity, independent of local infrastructure, and available globally for vehicle-mounted and man-portable, land, maritime and air communications systems. Additionally, the SlingShot hardware is easy-to-use, requires minimal training and is highly cost-effective, in that it utilises in-service radio equipment.

Click here to read the full article on the Spectra Group website.



Alcon launch their latest AAC03 brake-by-wire system to coincide with Autosport International 2020

January 9, 2020


alcon AAC03 BBW

Alcon Components Ltd, a world-leader in the design and manufacture of ultra-high-performance brake and clutch systems, are unveiling their latest AAC03 brake-by-wire technology to coincide with Europe’s number 1 motorsport show, Autosport International, held at the NEC Birmingham 9-12 January 2020.

Alcon’s first brake-by-wire system, AAC01, was developed in 2016 primarily for use in Formula E and was nominated for the Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year by the World Motorsport Symposium. Building on this early success, Alcon have continued development of the system alongside several high profile programs and combined all learning to offer a significantly enhanced package, the AAC03; a product that is not just world-class, but world-beating.

Therefore AAC03 is not simply a refinement of the AAC01; it is in fact a bold new product design developed in close collaboration with top-level motorsport suppliers and contractors selected for their expertise and innovation in high performance electronic control and hydraulic actuation systems.

The AAC03 BBW system is a standalone, off-the-shelf solution built to satisfy the exacting demands of a Formula E race car in all conditions. Consisting of an integrated hydraulic power pack, servo valve-actuated active circuit and fail-safe manual backup circuit, the AAC03 is safe, robust, reliable and incredibly efficient. Using cutting edge manufacturing technology along with the integrated ECU and fully enclosed wiring, Alcon has strived to simplify, integrate and shave every gram from the system. Indeed, the AAC03 boasts significant weight reductions and increases in performance and usability over its predecessors.

Reliability and consistency of performance across the full range of use is assured by Alcon’s comprehensive development and testing processes. Individual components are continuously refined through hundreds of hours of testing over a range of environmental conditions that include extremes of temperature and vibration at maximum duty cycle.

AAC03 will be available for adoption in advance of Formula E Season 7. To ensure that their customers get the most from this technology, Alcon offer a full training session for the front-line team who will be working with the unit. The team will gain a practical understanding of how the system operates, including instruction in the installation and operational processes. Courses will be held at Alcon’s HQ with further details given on request.

Spectra Group (UK) awarded 2019 Queen’s Award for Enterprise

October 29, 2019


Last week, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, The Dowager Countess Darnley, presented Spectra Group (UK) with the highly prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.  The ceremony took place at Spectra’s headquarters and was attended by Major Patrick Darling, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire;; Councillor David Hitchiner, Leader of Herefordshire Council; Sharon Smith, CEO, H&W Chamber of Commerce; Mark Armitage, Senior Director of International Trade, H&W Chamber of Commerce; as well as Members of UK MOD and a host of proud Spectra staff.

The Queen’s Award is highly contested and is a noteworthy recognition of the outstanding commercial success that Spectra has achieved with their revolutionary device, SlingShot®.  Along with the commemorative trophy, Spectra were presented with the official Grant of Appointment, given permission to use the Queen’s Award emblem and to fly The Queen’s Award flag at their main office.

SlingShot is a lightweight device that delivers game-changing capabilities to existing military and civilian radio networks.  When connected to military or commercial UHF/VHF radios, Slingshot extends their range from under 50 miles to potentially 1000s of miles by utilising the commercial satellite network.  The system works by simply converting standard radio signals to the frequency used by commercial satellites and is the only product of its type to enable beyond line-of-sight voice and data communications whilst the user is on the move. It also enables interoperability between agencies using different radio systems, without degradation by environmental factors such as weather, terrain and vegetation, delivering increased safety and security with improved flexibility and effectiveness.

Spectra’s innovation stemmed from a realisation in 2012 that there was a previously unutilised capability of the Inmarsat geostationary satellite network that would have huge potential in both military and commercial sectors. Within a year of working closely with Inmarsat, a working concept was developed and approved for use by the British military; versatile enough to be used in aircraft, vehicles, maritime platforms and by individuals on the ground. Spectra has since gone on to successfully market SlingShot internationally for military and non-military use, such as emergency services and disaster-relief, with a capability that has proved to be of critical importance and has undoubtedly contributed to the saving of lives.

Simon Davies, CEO of Spectra Group said: “I am extremely proud of what the staff at Spectra have achieved.  This award is the greatest validation of our work; it’s a huge recognition and a ‘thank you’ to my team who have worked tirelessly to develop and produce our remarkable SlingShot technology”. He added, “Working on the design and building a business that supplies a product with the ability to revolutionise communications globally, not only for soldiers but also emergency services and disaster-relief agencies, is immensely satisfying.  As a former soldier in the Royal Corps of Signals, knowing that lives are being saved is incredibly motivating for me and my team.”