ViaSat to provide inflight connectivity on US Air Force One

ViaSat's Don Buchman with its dual Ku/Ka array.
ViaSat’s Don Buchman with its dual Ku/Ka array.

ViaSat has been awarded a non-competitive, firm-fixed-price contract to provide senior US leaders and their support staff with global in-flight broadband and communications services by the US Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

The award covers support for Air Force One, plus VC-25s, C-17s, C-32s, C-37s, C-40s and the complete range of VIP and special air mission aircraft.

ViaSat says its in-flight internet service has been recognised industry-wide for delivering high-quality, reliable and fast in-flight internet service.

It says the service enables “a Situation Room in the Sky” experience – with the ability to use the in-flight broadband connection to stream full-motion high-definition video for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), en-route Command and Control (C2) and Search and Rescue (S&R) missions.

It can also maintain two-way communications through HD video conference calling or voice over internet protocol calls; access real-time intelligence and other location-based, live-sensor data for critical decision-making and more.

ViaSat high-capacity service

Ken Peterman, ViaSat’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Government Systems Division, said: “ViaSat’s high-capacity global in-flight internet service ensures executive and government leaders and their teams can stay connected, informed and productive, maximizing the effectiveness of time in-flight with ‘Situation Room and Command Centre’ connectivity in the sky.

“This award is a significant accomplishment and we are proud to be delivering remarkably fast data speeds and an abundance of capacity to support the in-flight communications needs of our government’s senior leadership on Air Force One and other special air mission aircraft.”

ViaSat says it believes a key enabler to delivering this global in-flight broadband connectivity is that it offers a field-proven, certified, hybrid Ku-/Ka-band system, which will keep US government aircraft connected to ViaSat’s best available satellite network.

The hybrid terminal and radome enables automatic in-flight network switching across Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks for an advanced “global roaming capability.”

According to DISA, the face value of this award is $33,052,330 funded by fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance funding. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $73,217,722.

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