Viasat (VSAT.Q) jacks up their Link 16 communications device to connect soldiers to the battle

Link 16
07/23/2020

Viasat (VSAT.Q) announced a significant increase in the data storage and processing power of its Link 16 expeditionary tactical gateway products.

Link 16 is a military tactical data link network commonly used by NATO. Its part of the family of tactical data links that allows military aircraft, ships and ground forces to exchange tactical information in near-real time.

This is the technology that keeps today’s war-fighter connected in real-time to a constant feed of geospatial intelligence and network functions when doing frontline duty in battle. The enhancements come as part of Viasat’s Non-Developmental Team (NDI) business model, which delivers capabilities faster, cheaper, and with reduced risk to the customer when compared to traditional defense acquisition programs.

“The technology enhancements to Viasat’s expeditionary tactical gateway products are critical as we shift our focus to large-scale combat operations where we expect to fight more sophisticated threats in austere, denied, degraded and disrupted communications environments. Our NDI approach enables our defense products to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating technology trajectories in the private sector. This model enables us to quickly and cost-effectively integrate significant technology enhancements into our products, keeping warfighters safer and more reliably-connected during tactical mission engagements,” said Andy Kessler, vice president and business area director, Next Generation Tactical Data Links, Viasat.

What is Viasat?

They’re a global communications company that’s been around for 30 years, doing their best to be the communications hub for consumers, businesses, governments and military’s around the world. They’re working on creating a global communications network that’s secure, affordable, and fast while maintaining quality, connecting people wherever they are.

The company will be able to keep pace with advancement in commercial technology and make sure soldiers are properly equipped with the latest technological advancements.

Some of these include:

  • An eight-fold increase in data storage: Expanding storage from 512 gigabytes to 4 terabytes will help provide battlefield units in adverse conditions with more accurate situational awareness and targeting data to help fight near-peer adversaries that deploy sophisticated techniques that attempt to disable military forces’ ability to communicate and collaborate.
  • Greater processing power: By increasing gateway processing power it will be capable of delivering higher speeds and better performance with lower-power consumption for key application hosting and advanced network services on the battlespace. The additional processing power will be ideal for capabilities such as Viasat’s Assured Resilient Integrated Network (ARIN), a solution delivering robust, secure communications for deployed tactical networks. Today, the processing power leverages PacStar’s family of small form factor, modular router and server communications solutions.

Other tactical products getting the enhancement treatment include Viasat’s advanced Move Out/Jump Off (MOJO) Link 16 tactical gateway system, which is the multi-network communications system being used in all U.S. military services. It provides warfighters with air/ground situational awareness and gateway functions. It’s portable and therefore the right size for ground vehicles and small vessels.

It’s essentially designed for operations in remote locations where extended networks are required to complete the mission. The MOJO gateway acts as a portable encryption and decryption device, taking incompatible messages and translating them into clear and interoperable communications.

—Joseph Morton

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