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Viasat announces first US Navy Military Sealift Command ship installation

Viasat announces first US Navy Military Sealift Command ship installation

Viasat has announced the completion of the first ship installation for the US Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC) under the Next Generation Wideband (NGW) Follow-On (FO) 10-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded to Inmarsat Government by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on June 30, 2022. Under the contract, the company maintains and operates commercial communications infrastructure, which includes satellite systems, teleport services and terrestrial services. Inmarsat Government is now part of Viasat's government business following the company's acquisition of Inmarsat on May 30, 2023.


This first installation of 105 ships demonstrates the company's ability to deliver a robust, reliable global managed satellite communications (SATCOM) solution. The company upgraded the MSC ship's primary afloat network from Ku-band to the Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band system and ELERA Enhanced L-band Maritime Antenna (ELMA), a variant of the award-winning LAISR L-band solution to provide communications on the move via a small-size, high throughput terminal.


"As the premier maritime logistics provider for the US Department of Defense, the Military Sealift Command plays a critical role in our nation's defense. Our ships must have resilient communications capabilities that deliver consistent performance and can be relied upon regardless of location or weather conditions," said Eliot J. Skinner, Deputy Command Information Officer. "These upgrades ensure that our Mariners can confidently operate anywhere in the world knowing they have a reliable, redundant communications network supporting them."


The hybrid solution of Ka- and L-band service ensures that the MSC ships have secure, resilient, worldwide communications capabilities, as well as a reliable global, on-demand backup network. This approach is designed to provide significant enhancements over legacy Ku-band by providing higher and scalable data rates on ships' primary and back-up systems, and uniform coverage across the GX and ELERA networks. Additionally, by delivering the primary and secondary SATCOM capabilities in a holistic, managed service model that includes satellites, ground networks and type-approved terminals – SATCOM as a Service – the company attains an optimal state of efficiency and functionality, while delivering a superior user experience and saving government resources.


"We have reliably served the US Navy Military Sealift Command for more than 10 years, and we are proud to continue supporting its operations around the world," said Steve Gizinski, Managing Director, Viasat Government Services. "These upgrades provide the MSC fleet with significant enhancements in SATCOM capabilities, including expanded global coverage, improved reliability and resiliency, and the on-demand data rates that meet user needs."


The MSC fleet benefits from an integrated, worldwide solution that delivers high throughput with RF (Radio Frequency) band and path diversity to ships at sea. All of the network aspects are designed as a single solution and for mobility, so users experience a reliable, on-demand continuous service.


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