Navy awards nearly a billion-dollar contract to ViaSat to provide MIDS JTRS tactical networking radios

May 21, 2020
MIDS JTRS is a line-of-sight radio system for collecting and transmitting broadband, jam-resistant, secure data and voice for military warfighters.

SAN DIEGO – U.S. Navy communications experts are awarding ViaSat Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif., a five-year contract worth nearly a billion dollars to provide digital tactical networking and voice communications capability for U.S. and allied aircraft, ground vehicles, and surface warships.

Officials of the Naval Information Warfare System Command in San Diego announced a $998.8 million five-year contract to ViaSat on Thursday to build and maintain Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) terminals.

MIDS JTRS are line-of-sight radios for collecting and transmitting broadband, jam-resistant, secure data and voice across a variety of aircraft, surface ships, land vehicles, and command posts.

The MIDS JTRS terminal is a four-channel software-defined radio that delivers existing Link 16 tactical networking and situational awareness with concurrent multi-netting-4 and tactical air navigation (TACAN) functionality.

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There are three variants of MIDS JTRS terminals: the Concurrent Multi-Netting-4; the Tactical Targeting Network Technology; and the F-22 variant.

ViaSat will build, upgrade, and maintain MIDS JTRS terminals that provide three channels for future growth, including JTRS advanced networking waveforms such as tactical targeting network technology, multifunction advanced data link, intra-flight data link, and other advanced networking waveforms.

This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and Air Force; other U.S. military organizations; and all NATO nations. The system is designed to provide interoperable, affordable, and secure MIDS tactical data link and programmable networking technologies and capabilities for the joint, coalition, and international warfighter, SPAWAR officials say.

ViaSat is one of two U.S. companies that build MIDS JTRS terminals. The other is Data Link Solutions LLC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- a joint venture of Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems. Both companies bid on this contract.

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The ViaSat MIDS JTRS terminals combine network-centric communications capability with a real-time operating picture in one unit. The terminal’s dedicated Link 16 channel is interoperable with fielded MIDS-Low Volume Terminals (LVTs) and backward-compatible with legacy communications systems to exchange tactical picture information in real-time.

By retaining the existing MIDS-LVT form factor and interfaces, the MIDS JTRS terminal facilitates integration into aircraft, vehicles, and ships that already host MIDS-LVT. This approach minimizes life-cycle costs by leveraging past expenditures for platform integration of Link 16 and TACAN, while providing a gateway for new JTRS and other enhanced capabilities, ViaSat officials say.

On this contract ViaSat will do the work in Carlsbad, Calif., and should be finished by May 2025. For more information contact ViaSat online at, or SPAWAR at

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