The US Government has awarded a contract to ViaSat to upgrade the multifunctional information distribution system-low volume terminal (MIDS-LVT) Link 16 radio sets.

Valued at $85.5m, the six-year indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract involves the delivery of Block Upgrade 2 (BU2) hardware and software upgrades and support services for the MIDS-LVT radios.

Under the deal, Viasat will provide upgraded Link 16 communications capability to the US Army, in addition to the US Navy, Marines and selected Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.

Link 16 is a military tactical data exchange network that offers real-time situational awareness and jam-resistant communications across a wide range of air, sea, and ground platforms.

Currently used by almost 50 coalition countries, this capability enables interoperability and real-time exchange of battlespace data, thereby improving mission effectiveness and warfighter safety.

“Viasat is extremely pleased to receive this sole source award to deliver enhanced Link 16 capability to US and allied forces.”

Viasat Government Systems president Ken Peterman said: “Viasat is extremely pleased to receive this sole source award to deliver enhanced Link 16 capability to US and allied forces.

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“This order reflects the US Government’s commitment to maintaining the long-term viability of MIDS-LVT radios deployed worldwide, which will ensure continued tactical data link capability and interoperability with Link 16 equipped platforms and warfighters into the future.”

The MIDS-LVT BU2 capabilities will enable interoperability with platforms that use other upgraded Link 16 terminals such as the MIDS Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) family of terminals, and Viasat’s Small Tactical Terminal and Handheld Link 16 radios.

The contract is the result of sole source procurement through the US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), with initial delivery orders valued at $22m.