Aireon is excited to announce that it reached another important milestone last week when it signed a 17-year, $42 million agreement with Exelis.

Exelis, a top-tier aerospace, defense, information and technical services company, will be responsible for designing and building the processing and distribution platform for Aireon’s air traffic surveillance system.

With Exelis on board as a core partner, Aireon is now one step closer to taking flight.

Transforming the world of commercial aviation

Aireon, a joint venture between Iridium and NAV CANADA, will leverage the world’s furthest reaching network to transform the world of commercial aviation.

The innovative new company will take advantage of the hosted payload space on Iridium NEXT, Iridium’s second-generation constellation of 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit satellites, to enable the first-ever global and continuous space-based aviation surveillance system.

With this new capability, Aireon will make air traffic surveillance available globally to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)—including over oceans and remote regions where it is not currently possible. Aireon plans to provide the first opportunity for global air traffic monitoring as early as 2017.

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Bringing a full range of expertise

Exelis, a leader in developing and operating air traffic surveillance systems, will play a key role in getting AireonSM off the ground.

Not only will the company be providing the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data processing and distribution component for Aireon, it will also operate and maintain the system for 15 years after launch.

The Exelis platform will receive ADS-B data—the surveillance technology for tracking an aircraft—from receiver payloads built into Iridium NEXT satellites. From there, it will validate and process the data, and send it over to ANSPs for use in air traffic control services around the world.

By doing this, Aireon and Exelis will help the aviation industry significantly improve operational efficiency, flight monitoring and reductions in fuel costs, while also offering exciting new applications and business opportunities.

Aireon is pleased to extend its long-term relationship with Exelis. With the combined expertise of Exelis and our other partners, we are making significant strides toward deploying Aireon and revolutionizing the future of air travel. We look forward to working together to help bring this powerful solution to market.

For more information

To learn more about Aireon, its partners and its visionary mandate, visit:

To learn more about Exelis, its technology and solutions, visit: