L3Harris Technologies has signed an agreement to buy ViaSat ’s Link 16 Tactical Data Links (TDL) business for approximately $1.96bn.

The cash acquisition will strengthen L3Harris’ existing capabilities and its position as a provider of resilient communication and networking solutions.

As part of Viasat’s Government Systems segment, the TDL product line includes Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) platforms and associated terminals, handheld radios, and Link 16 space assets.

Viasat’s TDL innovations improve warfighter mission effectiveness and safety by providing them with secure connectivity and access to mission-critical information across multiple domains in highly contested areas.

L3Harris CEO and chair Christopher Kubasik said: “This acquisition is part of our strategic effort to ensure operators have access to the most advanced, multi-function Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) solutions available.

“Viasat’s TDL product line naturally aligns with our proven communication capabilities, and we are excited to partner with our customers and coalition allies as we modernise the Link 16 enterprise.”

With 450 employees, Viasat’s Link 16 TDL business posted revenue of nearly $400m for the full year that ended on 30 June 2022. It reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of $125m.

Viasat chairman and CEO Mark Dankberg said: “Viasat’s TDL team has made outstanding contributions to US and allied national security, as well as our company’s growth, through sustained innovation and impressive execution over several decades. 

“Now, given Viasat’s increasing focus on space networks, integrating TDL with L3Harris and its portfolio of C2 assets and resources, offers new forms of growth opportunities and our long-time strategic partnership on TDL products provides a solid foundation.”

The acquisition will be funded with debt financing and is expected to be complete in the first half of 2023.

It is subject to necessary approvals and clearances from the regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions.

JP Morgan Securities and PJT Partners are acting as the lead financial advisor and financial advisor, respectively, to Viasat. Latham & Watkins is the legal advisor in relation to the transaction.