Network for the Sky (NFTS) securely and reliably connects all your airborne assets together with the rest of your operations, giving you the communications superiority to execute the mission more efficiently and effectively. Delivering as one.
It operates over a mix of technologies to form one resilient, high-speed global network that supports the most advanced applications. It allows all mission participants – including joint and coalition forces – to communicate during the entire mission, giving you enhanced situational awareness for faster, better decision-making and rapid response through more synchronised operations.
Network for the Sky is a solution from Airbus. We have unequalled breath of experience in aircraft, airborne communications systems and services – and bringing it all together into highly secure end-to-end solutions trusted by military and government customers.
NFTS delivers communications superiority as the foundation for increased mission efficiency and effectiveness, enabling you to maximise your airborne assets.
NFTS operates over a secure, flexible, hybrid network that incorporates multiple technologies for better resilience. It creates an intelligent network across diverse air assets – manned and unmanned – with seamless interoperability between them. NFTS emulates the experience of today’s cellular networks in a secure airborne environment, expertly configured for the unique challenges this brings.
13 June 2019
Airbus has successfully completed a flight demonstration of a connected airborne battlespace scenario, centred on a MRTT aircraft. The test was carried out as part of the development of Airbus’ Network for the Sky (NFTS) programme. This follows on from last August’s demonstration in Canada of secure mobile communications using a stratospheric balloon to simulate a HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellite), such as Airbus’ Zephyr UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
20th February 2019
Collaboration of Airbus Secure Communications and Airbus Military Aircraft in Madrid
A teaming between Airbus´ Network for the Sky and Military Aircraft businesses has demonstrated the benefits of advanced integrated communication solutions for air and ground-based assets and operations as part of the concept of future air power
25th September 2018
Airbus has successfully tested stratospheric 4G/5G defence applications with a high-altitude balloon demonstration. The technology tested, an Airbus LTE AirNode, represents a key part of Airbus’ secure networked airborne military communications project, Network for the Sky (NFTS).
Farnborough, 13 July 2018
Airbus will unveil its secure networked airborne military communications solution, Network for the Sky (NFTS), at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018. NFTS combines different communication technologies to form one resilient global mesh network, allowing aircraft to be fully part of a high-speed connected battle space.
Leveraging its unique breadth of experience in aircraft, satellites and secure military communications, Airbus is preparing a communication network solution that is interoperable between aircraft, satellites, command centres and mobile units deployed on the ground or at sea.
This demonstration represents a key milestone of Airbus’ Network for the Sky vision – the ability to quickly deploy secure, ad-hoc LTE networks as a complement to satellite connectivity and UHF/VHF networks.
The balloon allowed us to test LTE performance at altitudes from the ground to 21 km above the earth’s surface – as proof of concept for creating an airborne cell site on a variety of different aircraft platforms including helicopters, tactical and MALE UAV’s, and High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS)
This capability significantly increases operational flexibility during a mission. An LTE AirNode allows opportunistic, secure communications between different aircraft as they fly within range of each other, where operations require permanent and powerful connectivity.
This demonstration proves the innovation journey in developing persistent, secure communications wherever needed most. This type of ad-hoc network can be adapted to all users – from the Special Forces Community, to Disaster Relief scenarios.
As the journey continues, The AirNode hopes to support HAPS systems to deliver highly secure, LTE coverage for other airborne assets, ground or maritime-based operations for several weeks or months at a time – combining the persistence of a satellite with the flexibility of a UAV.