US-based communications company ViaSat has secured a new contract to modernise the Nato ultra-high frequency (UHF) satellite communications (SATCOM) control stations.

The control stations will be upgraded in order to conform to the next-generation integrated waveform (IW) baseline.

The enhancement will provide Nato with greater communications interoperability, scalability and flexibility across traditional and latest platforms to improve situational awareness as the battlespace dynamically expands.

Under the terms of the deal, Nato will upgrade its traditional UHF communications network to Viasat’s visual integrated SATCOM information, operation and networking (VISION) planning and network management platform.

The VISION platform is the first commercially available software package that can provide support to all 25kHz old demand-assigned multiple-access (DAMA) and latest IW networks and services at the same time.

It also provides network operators with real-time capabilities to reconfigure UHF satellite networks that would help meet new mission profiles on-the-fly.

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“Viasat VISION platform will give Nato network operators more control over communications stations from a single terminal.”

Without any extra investment in the UHF space segment, Nato will be able to double its channel efficiency by allowing interoperability between DAMA and IW platforms.

This will help increase the number of users by double, providing additional combatants with access to reliable and resilient voice and data communications.

Nato Communications and Information Agency Network Services and IT Infrastructure Satcom service area owner Giovanni Battista Durando said: “With the Viasat VISION platform, we can use our UHF space segment more efficiently as it more than doubles our existing UHF user access.

“We believe the Viasat VISION platform will give Nato network operators more control over communications stations from a single terminal, simplifying operations and offering multi-site flexibility to ultimately increase the network readiness of the warfighter.”

Viasat’s VISION offers a single user-friendly network management interface for both DAMA and IW services.