ViaSat Selected by U.S. Army to Supply Next Generation Blue Force Tracking
CARLSBAD, Calif., July 21, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) has received a $477 million IDIQ contract to supply the next generation of high speed, high capacity, low latency Blue Force Tracking (BFT) equipment to the U.S. Army as part of the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) Program. In addition to being selected as the provider for this faster and more accurate command and control satellite communication system, ViaSat also received the first delivery order for $37.7 million to fund deliveries of first article and initial production terminals and other ground networking equipment.
Armed forces use BFT to view regularly updated troop positions on screens in vehicles and aircraft to differentiate between friendly and enemy forces. These awards signal the transition of the BFT program from a proprietary network to BFT-2, an open IP-standard communication network.
Previously, ViaSat had delivered prototype second generation BFT-2 terminals under contract to Northrop Grumman and then a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) award from the U.S. Army for system testing. The units met network capacity requirements and demonstrated data throughput that far exceeded specifications. The efficiency gain and latency reduction improve situational awareness and accuracy, and enable satellite channels to accommodate more simultaneous users and messages.
A variety of equipment and services are included in the new BFT-2 awards:
- Small BFT-2 satellite terminals for a variety of ground vehicles and small aircraft
- Hub equipment for high-speed two-way access to ground and airborne terminals
- Network Operations Center (NOC) equipment for overall network monitoring and control
- Backbone network to connect all FBCB2 NOCs into a single network for worldwide interoperability
- Integration with FBCB2 software
- Engineering services in support of the BFT-2 network
The new BFT-2 system is derived from ViaSat ArcLight(R) mobile satellite communication technology, which enables fast, efficient network access using very small antennas. The ArcLight system provides broadband communications-on-the-move (COTM) service to multiple customer classes, including the ViaSat Yonder(SM) Mobile Broadband service featuring near global coverage. Applications include Internet access, VoIP, and video for private business jets; crew and passenger broadband access for commercial and private maritime vessels through the KVH mini-VSAT Broadband(SM) service; maritime security operations by the U.S. Coast Guard; and real time video feeds from ISR aircraft.
ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other digital communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to virtually any location. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. government; is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and owns WildBlue, the premier Ka-band satellite broadband service provider. ViaSat also offers design capabilities and a number of complementary products including monolithic microwave integrated circuits and modules, DVB-S2 satellite communication components, video data link systems, data acceleration and compression, and mobile satellite antenna systems. Based in Carlsbad, CA, ViaSat includes a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development.
Portions of this release, particularly statements about the transition of the BFT program, improvements to satellite efficiency, and reduced latency, may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. ViaSat wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to: contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations; and increased competition and other factors affecting the defense industry generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in ViaSat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including ViaSat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. ViaSat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
ArcLight is a registered trademark of ViaSat Inc.
Yonder is a service mark of ViaSat Inc.
KVH mini-VSAT Broadband is a service mark of KVH Industries Inc.
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Mark D. Dankberg
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