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Viasat Wins Northrop Grumman Contract to Support AFRL Initiative

GEO satellites. Credit: Viasat

Ibadan, 1 March 2024. – Viasat, Inc. has won a contract from Northrop Grumman to support the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) initiative, called the Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI) Call 003 program – better known by its nickname ‘Global Lightning.’ As a result, the company’s high-capacity geostationary satellites will support the program, which is connecting commercial space internet services for military users.

Northrop Grumman was awarded a four-year contract to test how defense contractors and commercial satcom providers could integrate space internet services into existing military systems. As part of its contract with Northrop Grumman, Viasat will consequently provide its ViaSat-3 Satellite Communications Network to enable military users to easily access high-bandwidth satellite internet connectivity from existing USAF aircraft or ground vehicles.

Under the deal, the Company will integrate its ViaSat-3 modem into Northrop Grumman’s open systems processors and antenna solutions to conduct experiments demonstrating its use on multiple platforms. The modem aligns with open communications and IP-protocol standards in use by the military, for example, OpenAMIP, CMOSS, and SOSA.

Open standards are a top priority for the Department of Defense because they enable faster adoption of new communications technologies. As a result, military users can keep up with industry innovation. The ViaSat-3 modem is a low-size weight and power embeddable module that can seamlessly integrate with multiple mission systems by operating with open standards.

Speaking on the program, Victor Farah, Head of Viasat Government Systems, commented, “Global Lightning is about delivering flexibility and agility for military users. Our reliable satellite services – together with the open source optimized ViaSat-3 modem – have designs that offer gamechanging communications capability so they can connect with ease and deliver mission success. We are happy to be working on the program to offer our expertise across USAF’s defense platforms.”

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