American company Iridium Communications has expanded its partnership with France-based firm Thales by selecting the company to provide aviation services for Iridium Certus.

With this move, Thales will now be offering Iridium Certus terminals and connectivity services to business jets, commercial aircraft, rotorcraft, general aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Iridium Certus is an L-band broadband platform, which will offer an advanced solution for two-way flight deck and business cabin communications.

Iridium aviation director and general manager Michael Hooper said: “As the aviation industry continues to adopt Satcom as a primary means of long-range communications, reliable and cost-effective systems with truly global coverage are becoming an increasing necessity.

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“The Iridium Certus platform will provide the only solutions that meet the coverage, cost and capability requirements for this new generation of aircraft communications, and we’re excited to further expand our close partnership with Thales to bring these capabilities to market.”

Thales is the only company currently involved in the production of land, maritime and aviation terminals in the Iridium Certus partner ecosystem.

It is also developing the Iridium Certus-based FlytLINK terminal and antenna.

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Commenting on the partnership, Thales InFlyt Experience connectivity solutions vice-president Craig Olson said: “We’re excited about our aero solution on Iridium Certus and intend to be first to market.

“Thales FlytLINK will empower customers to achieve their big ambitions, and we’re proud to help them do that. This marks another big step towards a long-lasting relationship with Iridium and bringing connectivity to users worldwide.”

Last month, Iridium announced the live testing of its Certus 9770 transceiver for faster satellite data.