Viasat Contracted to Deliver the World’s First Link 16-Capable Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Spacecraft
CARLSBAD, Calif., May 22, 2019 -- Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, announced today it has been awarded a contract by the Administrator of the Space Enterprise Consortium, under the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles XVI program, to deliver and test the first-ever Link 16-capable LEO spacecraft. Leveraging the Company’s leadership in satellite innovation and military communications, the Viasat-designed spacecraft is intended to enhance warfighters’ situational awareness by extending the range of Link 16 networks – using a constellation of satellites to provide greater access to Link 16 capabilities in contested or congested environments.
Under the XVI program, Viasat will become the first company to prototype and test space-based Link 16 capabilities compatible with fielded U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Link 16-enabled platforms, including ground vehicles, aircraft, maritime vessels, and dismounted users. The XVI program is a key step towards making a global Link 16-enabled LEO satellite constellation, transforming Link16 from a Line-of-Sight (LOS) to a Beyond Line-of-Site (BLOS) network, providing U.S. and allied military forces with ubiquitous, secure, high-speed and resilient communications necessary to improve the common operating picture across the global battlespace.
“The XVI award highlights Viasat technology leadership in Link 16 and space-borne tactical communications,” said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat. “Our innovative spacecraft design and development coupled with expertise in next-generation tactical datalinks and cybersecurity places Viasat in a unique position to address the Department of Defense’s urgent need for a fast-to-market, cost-effective, space-based Link 16 solution to maintain a technological edge in contested environments.”
Viasat’s Link 16-capable LEO satellite is designed to fit the Viasat Hybrid Adaptive Network (HAN) satellite communications (SATCOM) concept. The HAN architecture will allow users to operate across commercial and government SATCOM networks and multiple orbital regimes, creating an end-to-end multi-layered solution resilient to network congestion, intentional and unintentional interference and cyber threats – even in highly-contested environments. The Link 16-capable LEO satellite will allow Link 16 networks to leverage the resilient, global connectivity capabilities of the HAN and share information with other warfighters, anywhere in the world.
Today, Viasat offers an extensive portfolio of Link 16 terminal configurations and form factors. Link 16 communications networks provide the U.S. and international allies with greater situational awareness by exchanging digital data over a common data link that is continuously and automatically updated in real-time, reducing the chance of fratricide or duplicate assignments, while significantly enhancing mission effectiveness.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com, go to Viasat’s Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include statements about Viasat’s Link 16-capable LEO spacecraft, including its capabilities, performance and delivery timeline, and the features and benefits of Viasat’s Hybrid Adaptive Network. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: risks associated with satellite failures, including the effect of any anomaly, operational failure or degradation in performance; contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations; delays in approving U.S. government budgets and cuts in government defense expenditures; and increased competition and other factors affecting the government and defense sectors generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat's SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
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