ViaSat has been selected for supply of Link 16 small tactical terminals for the US Army’s AH-64E Apache attack helicopter fleet.
The company will supply its KOR-24A small tactical terminal (STT) to help address the army’s requirement for an airborne and maritime/fixed station (AMF) Small Airborne Link 16 Terminal (SALT).
ViaSat Tactical Data Links general manager, Dr. Jay Kaufman, said: "The STT satisfies the latest requirements for Apache helicopters, providing a significant advance in battlefield communications such as Link 16 and SRW become essential capabilities in the future of army aviation."
Jointly manufactured by ViaSat and Harris, KOR-24 SST is a small, two-channel, very high frequency / ultra high frequency (VHF/UHF) radio terminal, designed to bring mobile network connectivity to dismounted soldiers and platforms such as ground vehicles, small boats, ships, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The terminal primarily enables soldiers to exchange secure situational awareness information and critical data communications with allied air, land, and sea platforms over Link 16 or UHF to maintain the tactical picture and also avoid Blue-on-Blue engagements.
Fully interoperable with global MIDS Link 16 terminals, joint tactical information distribution system (JTIDS), or UHF data radio systems, the terminal also supports all tactical digital information link (TADIL) J network messages, including network enabled weapon (NEW) messages.
Nicknamed Guardian, the Boeing AH-64E is a heavily armed helicopter featuring powerful, fuel-efficient T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blade technology and electronics, as well as improved aircraft handling, performance and agility at higher altitudes.
Designed to replace the existing AH-64D Longbow helicopters, the helicopter also features a joint tactical radio system, electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors to improve pilots’ situational awareness and an oversea capacity, enabling potential strikes on smaller ships.
Image: the Boeing AH64E Apache attack helicopter during its flight. Photo: courtesy of PEO Aviation.