The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract to global communications company Viasat for AN/USQ-140(V) multifunctional information distribution systems (MIDS) low volume terminals (LVT).

Worth up to $42m, the indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract will cover the purchase of supplemental units, maintenance and support services the Viasat system.

The MIDS-LVT units are part of a tactical Link 16 radio communications system that delivers increased situational awareness to troops by exchanging digital information over a common communication link.

Link 16 is continuously and automatically updated in real-time, minimising the chance of friendly fire or duplicate assignments while improving mission effectiveness.

“Viasat’s AN/USQ-140(V) MIDS-LVT will provide USAF customers with greater operational capabilities around the globe.”

The USAF will use the AN/USQ-140(V) terminal to ensure assured, real-time, jam-resistant secure transmission of data, voice and position and location information between geographically dispersed military forces operating across the battlespace.

Viasat Government Systems president Ken Peterman said: “Viasat is a leader in Link 16 MIDS-LVT technology. Enabling our customers to quickly and easily acquire sustainment services and support for our AN/USQ-140(V) MIDS-LVT is critical for combat communications.

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“This IDIQ contract exemplifies Viasat’s ability to address unique mission requirements today while preparing for the sustainment needs of tomorrow. Viasat’s AN/USQ-140(V) MIDS-LVT will provide USAF customers with greater operational capabilities around the globe.”

Viasat’s MIDS-LVT units are designed to help improve mission effectiveness and increase the safety of soldiers.

Expected to be complete by 29 March 2023, work on the project will be carried out in Carlsbad, California, US.

The Air Force Sustainment Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, US, serves as the contracting activity.