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Viasat Rolls Out NSA-Certified Handheld Radio Configuration; Andy Kessler Quoted

Andy Kessler VP Viasat
Andy Kessler, VP, Viasat

Viasat has unveiled a new configuration for its handheld Link 16 radio product designed to help military users communicate during ground or air missions.

The National Security Agency cleared the updated AN/PRC-161 Battlefield Awareness and Targeting System ““ Dismounted radio technology to support communications of U.S. general purpose forces, coalition troops and members of the “five eyes“ international consortium, the company said Wednesday.

“We've seen tremendous interest to extend the use of the BATS-D radios to new applications and expanded concepts of operation that address specific needs and capability gaps of U.S. and international FVEY armed forces," said Andy Kessler, vice president and business area director of next generation tactical data links at Viasat.

Kessler added the company intends for its technology to help secure military communications and support coordination in multidomain battlespace.

The company secured a four-year, $93M contract from the U.S. Air Force in late 2019 to provide AN/PRC-161 units along with ancillaries and training services to special warfare operators.

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