Military Embedded Systems

Handheld air-to-ground radios delivered to USAF


January 21, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Photo by Sgt. Brian Calhoun courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

CARLSBAD, Calif. Viasat Inc., communications company, announced it was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, worth a maximum ceiling of $90 million, to provide the U.S. Air Force (USAF) with Viasat's Battlefield Awareness Targeting System — Dismounted (BATS-D) handheld Link 16 radios, also known as the AN/PRC-161 radio. The IDIQ award also covers associated operator training and maintenance.

According to the company, BATS-D is the first and only handheld Link 16 radio. It is intended to bridge the gap between air-and-ground forces by providing warfighters with access to integrated air-and-ground information for improved situational awareness and enhanced close air support communications.

Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems for Viasat says, "Today, nearly 2,500 AN/PRC-161 BATS-D radios have been shipped to U.S. warfighters worldwide, and we continue to see strong demand for its use across multiple military branches, and among coalition partners as it has the proven ability to significantly enhance situational awareness, improve mission coordination and accelerate decision timelines in a multi-domain battlespace."

The IDIQ contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.


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