ViaSat and DRS Technologies Demonstrate Airborne IP Connection between F/A-18 and Ground Network: Simple Avionics Modification Brings IP to the Cockpit with No Added Weight, Space or Changes to Operational Flight Program Software

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ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq:VSAT) and DRS Technologies Inc., under a contract with the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and Program Executive Office for C4I (PMW-750), have demonstrated an Internet Protocol (IP) data connection from the cockpit of an F/A-18 jet fighter to a ground network. The data link uses ViaSat Multifunctional Information Distribution System LVT(1) terminals modified to provide IP communications to and from an onboard DRS Airborne Tactical Server (ATS). The tests were conducted at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake.

But our tests are showing that the network connection is fast enough to support streaming video and situational awareness applications as well, so that's the next step.

    In the test, the aircrew employed an Advanced Technology Forward-Looking Infrared (AT-FLIR) camera to record video. Although the test flight was during the day, the AT-FLIR typically captures images at night or in other low-light conditions. The aircrew created video captures and transferred IP data files at rates in excess of 70 kbps, moving images of 35,000 bytes to the ground network in seconds. In combat, these images could be used for intelligence and reconnaissance missions to identify and locate targets, enemy movements, or friendly forces.

CDR Jeff Myers, an assistant program manager from PMW-750 at PEO C4I, acted as the project manager for this demonstration. According to CDR Myers, "Speaking as an operator, both the speed and quality of the information exchange between the Hornet and the ground network were impressive and proved to be tactically relevant. From a project manager standpoint, the effort showed that there are options to affordably field an IP capability in tactical platforms that are worth further exploration. I thought our government-contractor team did an outstanding job working together to show the operational advantage of IP information to and from the tactical edge."

Through relatively minor modifications to the ViaSat MIDS LVT(1) terminal, the Link-16 network is able to transmit IP data. The DRS Airborne Tactical Server (ATS) enables aircrews to record, store, and access aircraft and tactical data. This configuration replaces the Solid State Recorder (SSR) typically installed in the F/A-18, providing the same video, audio and data recording functions and adding a Microsoft Windows(R)-compatible file server to the aircraft. To show seamless integration with existing Link-16 operations, the demonstration used an operational Link-16 network with the IP data sent over a standard Link-16 relayed voice channel using the ViaSat Enhanced Throughput (ET) modes of the Link-16 waveform.

"Just the ability to use the Link-16 equipment to exchange IP-format files between the cockpit and a ground network is a major advance," said Phyllis Sack, program manager at ViaSat. "But our tests are showing that the network connection is fast enough to support streaming video and situational awareness applications as well, so that's the next step."

About ViaSat (

ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to any location. The Company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies to the U.S. government; and is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services. The company's four wholly owned subsidiaries, US Monolithics, Efficient Channel Coding, Enerdyne Technologies Inc., and Intelligent Compression Technologies, design and produce complementary products such as monolithic microwave integrated circuits, DVB-S2 satellite communication components, video data link systems, and data acceleration and compression products. ViaSat has locations in Carlsbad, CA, and Duluth, GA, along with its Comsat Laboratories division in Germantown, MD. Additional field offices are located in Boston, MA, Baltimore, MD, Washington DC, Australia, China, India, Italy, and Spain.

Safe Harbor Statement

Portions of this release, particularly statements about the performance and deliveries of ViaSat products and technology, may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. ViaSat wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to: contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations; and increased competition and other factors affecting the telecommunications industry generally. The Company refers you to the documents it files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the section titled Risk Factors in the Company's Form 10-K, which contain and identify other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements. Stockholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

Comsat Labs and Comsat Laboratories are tradenames of ViaSat, Inc. Neither Comsat Labs nor Comsat Laboratories is affiliated with COMSAT Corporation. "Comsat" is a registered trademark of COMSAT Corporation. All additional products are trademarks of their respective owners.

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