Navy asks ViaSat for secure data capability, Link 16, and cryptography for MIDS-LVT communications terminals

July 20, 2021
MIDS-LVT provides high-capacity, jam-resistant digital data and voice secure communications capability for aircraft, ships, and ground applications.

SAN DIEGO – Secure communications experts at ViaSat Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif., will modernize cryptography and enhance data throughput in a U.S. military secure digital data and voice communications system under terms of a $19.5 million order announced last week.

Officials of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWARSYSCOM) in San Diego are asking ViaSat for Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Low Volume Terminals (LVT) to procure secure data units (SDUs) that support MIDS-LVT terminals and Link 16 capabilities.

The terminals provide secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for Navy, Air Force and Army systems, as well as U.S. allies.

The MIDS-LVT system provides high-capacity, jam-resistant digital data and voice secure communications capability for aircraft, ships, and ground applications. The MIDS-LVT block upgrade II involves crypto-modernization, enhanced throughput, and frequency remapping requirements.

Related: Navy eyes new JTIDS crypto modernization for communications information security and trusted computing

MIDS-LVT was developed to provide secure Link 16 capability at a relatively low weight, volume, and cost. Link 16 provides real-time data communications, situational awareness and navigation, and in some cases digital voice, all in a jam-resistant, crypto-secured, information security package. Link 16 is a military tactical data link network for U.S. and NATO military forces.

With Link 16, military aircraft as well as ships and ground forces may exchange their tactical picture in near-real time. Link 16 also supports the exchange of text messages, imagery data and provides two channels of digital voice at 2.4 kilobits per second and/or 16 kilobits per second in any combination.

Link 16 is defined as one of the digital services of the JTIDS / MIDS in NATO's Standardization Agreement STANAG 5516. MIL-STD-6016 is the related United States Department of Defense Link 16 military standard.

Related: Navy asks ViaSat to modernize cryptography in MIDS-LVT secure communications networking for military systems

This order is part of a long-term program designed to meet the requirements of U.S. and allied forces for communications among airborne, shipboard, and ground forces.

The terminals are being installed on the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F, U.S. Air Force F-16, B-1, B-2 and B-52, and on U.S. and allied naval ships. This order brings the contract's cumulative total to $694 million, which will be added to a new contract line item number to the base contract for the procurement of SDUs, which expires in June 2025.

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

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