ViaSat Inc today announced it has delivered an end-to-end Link 16 communications system to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) for its Halifax-class frigates. This state-of-the-art upgrade will enable the RCN to more effectively communicate with U.S., NATO and other Allied forces through Link 16 interoperability, and will serve as a bridge to the future fleet communications.
Current and evolving maritime threats are faster, stealthier, more maneuverable and have shifted from the open ocean to the near-shore environment. Sensors and weapons systems are newly challenged as they move closer to shore due to higher maritime traffic density and an increased proximity to coastal threats. To combat potential attacks at sea, the RCN executed a fleet-wide Halifax-class frigate communications upgrade using the Link 16 waveform.
ViaSat’s end-to-end Link 16 system supports a Canadian multilink capability using integrated shipboard racks outfitted with critical support equipment required to fully operate the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Low Volume Terminal (LVT) (4) technology. The MIDS LVT (4) terminal is an advanced, anti-jam data and voice communications system. The complete Link 16 system also includes specialized cabling to interface with Link 22 capabilities for future support and ViaSat’s software diagnostic tools for terminal and network analytics.
“The Halifax-class frigates are the backbone of the Royal Canadian Navy and require a communications infrastructure that will enable sailors to more effectively communicate worldwide today and into the future,” said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, ViaSat. “As the threat landscape for these frigates evolve, so must the technology platforms that support them. This was a highly-competitive selection process; winning this award showcases how ViaSat is well-positioned to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with end-to-end, integrated capabilities for secure, interoperable communications across any mission, platform or network.”
ViaSat has steadily grown its defence presence in Canada with its Link 16 military communication radios—MIDS-LVT, Small Tactical Terminals, and other next-generation products—currently deployed across the Canadian Department of National Defence. The Company has partnered with MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to build a Canadian repair, maintenance and upgrade facility for its Link 16 terminals, providing an in-country product resource to shorten repair, upgrade cycles, and turnaround times as well as reduce overall maintenance costs to ViaSat defence customers.