South Korean Military Adopts Iridium Connectivity


Iridium Communications Inc., a leading provider of global voice and data satellite communications, announced that the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of Defense (MOD) has adopted Iridium® connectivity for strategic use within its military operations. The ROK Army will leverage a full suite of Iridium products and services to enhance operations, including real-time position tracking capabilities for soldiers.

Iridium service provider Arion Communication Co. Ltd. and the ROK MOD’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) supported the implementation by providing the ROK Army with over 1,000 Iridium Connected SAT-PRE (Position Reporting Equipment) devices. Iridium solutions will be used to help fortify the ROK Army’s capabilities in data tracking and communication, along with augmenting operational efficiency and tactical awareness. Arion will manage Iridium satellite airtime directly with the ROK MOD.

Arion’s SAT-PRE supports both Iridium Push-to-Talk (PTT) and Short Burst Data® (SBD®) applications such as messaging and positioning. The device provides the ROK Army with a multi-functional, handheld, truly global communication solution designed to withstand the harshest environments.

“Arion has been a fantastic partner in developing satellite solutions in the region and bringing a unique value that helps advance global military communication capabilities,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “This is another great example of Iridium facilitating cutting-edge, ubiquitous, and reliable communication solutions for defense forces globally.”

“We are very pleased to complete the delivery of the system simultaneously with the supply contract with the ROK MOD’s DAPA. The ROK military’s satellite communication needs are becoming more diverse, and we anticipate that demand will continue to grow,” said Tony Park, CEO, Arion Communications. “This contract is especially meaningful as it is not just a supply of satellite terminals, but also a supply of a satellite communication system that can be fully integrated with the military network system, and it is characterized by the fact that SAT-PRE’s outstanding performance is based on the reliability of the Iridium network through numerous battlefield tests, and it can be utilized out of the box with proven communication performance.” Park continued, “Our solid partnership with Iridium has enabled us to secure this large-scale supply contract with the ROK MOD, and we thank Iridium for their support over the years, despite the lengthy timeline required by the nature of military contracts.”

“The SAT-PRE is a project to secure a weapon system with improved performance over the existing Positioning Reporting Equipment through domestic procurement from 2021. The project passed the Purchase Test & Evaluation in November last year and delivery started after the SAT-PRE supply contract was signed with Arion in December of the same year,” said Young-geun Park, head of the Surveillance and Electronic Warfare Program Department, DAPA. “SAT-PRE, which is capable of self-contained communication based on the Iridium network, enables data and voice communication directly with ROK command centers without connecting to separate equipment when conducting global special operations in all areas of land, sea and air.” Young-geun Park continued, “SAT-PRE is expected to dramatically improve the radius of action of our Special Forces and become the primary communication for our military as they conduct operations to protect the lives of our citizens in overseas deployments and conflict zones.”

With its unique satellite network in Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO), Iridium offers weather-resilient L-band connectivity and truly global coverage. Because Iridium’s satellites move from horizon to horizon, they avoid the permanent blockages faced by geostationary (GEO) systems and help to ensure the delivery of mission critical and secure communications. Whether in high-risk combat zones or during inclement weather events, the Iridium network provides satellite communications that keep users connected when it’s needed most.

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