ViaSat Supplies Communications System for Royal Canadian Navy

Royal Canadian Navy's Fredericton frigate on Nov. 6, 2014. Photo: Lt. Jennifer Fidler, Royal Canadian Navy Public Affairs.

Royal Canadian Navy’s Fredericton frigate on Nov. 6, 2014.
Photo: Lt. Jennifer Fidler, Royal Canadian Navy Public Affairs.

ViaSat announced it has delivered an end-to-end Link 16 communications system to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) for its Halifax-class frigates. The upgrade will enable the RCN to more effectively communicate with the United States, NATO and other allied forces through Link 16 interoperability, and will serve as a bridge to the future fleet communications.

According to RCN, 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 Link 16 system supports a Canadian multilink capability using integrated shipboard racks outfitted with 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 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.

ViaSat has steadily grown its defense presence in Canada with its Link 16 military communication radios — MIDS-LVT, small tactical terminals, and other products — currently deployed across the Canadian Department of National Defense. 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 defense customers.

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