The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) has awarded ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, a multi-year contract for the production of the KOR-24A Link 16 terminal, a two-channel Small Tactical Terminal (STT) for AH-64E Apache Guardian aircraft for U.S. Army and International Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases. The base contract calls for a minimum of 534 terminals to be produced over the next four years for use on Apache Guardian helicopters, and will eventually contain options.
The AH-64E Apache is the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defense forces. The STTs being acquired will provide a Link 16 common operating picture for enhanced situational awareness and a Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) capability to bridge communications between aircraft and ground maneuver forces.
The collaboration between ViaSat and Boeing on the integration of Link 16 and Soldier Radio Waveform capability for the Apache continues to be a great success. The degree to which these capabilities will improve Apache's lethality and survivability, and enhance the operator's situational awareness and ability to directly communicate with soldiers on the ground, are expected to have an immediate and positive impact in today's theaters of operation. Securing this multi-year agreement underscores the importance of implementing these relevant technologies to assure the success of our warfighters.
The STT was developed at private expense to meet forecasted warfighter requirements, and is further evidence of the success of ViaSat's commercial model for government use. As a non-developmental item (NDI), the STT delivers capabilities significantly faster and at significantly lower total lifecycle costs to the U.S. Government as compared to traditional government programs of record while being fully interoperable with program of record terminals such as MIDS-LVT (Multifunctional Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminal) and MIDS JTRS (Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System) as well as other ViaSat NDI products like the AN/PRC-161 Battlefield Awareness and Targeting System-Dismounted (BATS-D) handheld Link 16 radio.
"ViaSat's STT remains the terminal of choice for rotary wing and other size, weight and power constrained aircraft and ground vehicle platforms," said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, ViaSat. "By offering a family of complementary Link 16 solutions - that are both affordable and available today - ViaSat can ensure warfighters have needed information in a form factor that best fits their needs."
"This award, along with other customers for the STT, has caused us to initiate a pre-planned production ramp up to approximately 35 terminals per month, leveraging investments we have already made in our capacity based upon this forecast demand," said Andy Kessler, business area director for ViaSat's Next Generation Tactical Datalink Systems. "Coupled with more than 600 terminals already in the field today, we expect to eclipse 1,000 STTs deployed worldwide by early in 2018. At the same time we are deploying the terminals in greater numbers, we will be rolling out additional new capabilities to enhance our products' capacity to help solve warfighter problems."
Source: ViaSat, Inc.
Date: Jun 20, 2017