Viasat, AeroVironment Team to Develop Enhanced Type 1 Encrypted Communications Capabilities for U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems

CARLSBAD and SIMI VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, and AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), today announced they will collaborate on a contract awarded under the U.S. Army Reconfigurable Communications for Small Unmanned Systems (RCSUS) initiative. The project will provide U.S. military customers flying small UAS platforms the ability to deploy a robust, on-demand, highly-secure communications network that will address the growing electronic warfare capabilities of peer and near-peer adversaries.

Viasat is the prime contractor on the award and will work with AeroVironment to develop and demonstrate advanced, encrypted communications suitable for AeroVironment's portable, hand-launched Puma AE™ tactical UAS. The two companies will seek to strengthen the communications and transmission security of AeroVironment's Digital Data Link™ (DDL) radios currently used by the U.S. Army by converting them into a Type 1 crypto communication system for video and data transmission. 

In addition, Viasat and AeroVironment will develop critical interoperability standards for enabling UAS to generate a secure, digitally encrypted communications network—for protecting classified data and improving waveform performance in jamming environments—via the embedded DDL waveform. They will also create a standardized communications architecture that will allow UAS to access spectrum quickly and easily, especially when operating in contested environments.

"Viasat's robust military-grade cryptography and electronic countermeasure tactical waveform design will enable quick expansion of secure communications to a variety of small unmanned systems operating at the tactical edge," said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat. "By collaborating with AeroVironment, an established leader in the tactical UAS sector, we can help the U.S. Army set new waveform standards that maximize connectivity and minimize the risk of signal intercept."

Currently, tens of thousands of AeroVironment tactical unmanned aircraft are deployed around the world and are capable of serving as secure, digital network communication nodes for on-demand, mesh network applications in various operating environments.

"As U.S. forces plan for the potential of operating against peer and near-peer military adversaries possessing advanced electronic warfare capabilities, the need for even more secure communication capabilities is rapidly increasing," said Scott Newbern, AeroVironment chief technology officer. "We will work with Viasat to provide customers requiring enhanced, secure communication capabilities with a portable, practical solution for maintaining secure communications via tactical unmanned aircraft systems operating at the battlefield's edge."

About AeroVironment, Inc.
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) provides technology solutions at the intersection of robotics, sensors, software analytics and connectivity that deliver more actionable intelligence so you can proceed with certainty. Celebrating 50 years of innovation, AeroVironment is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems and tactical missile systems, and serves defense, government and commercial customers. For more information, visit www.avinc.com.

About Viasat
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com, go to Viasat's Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter or YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements include statements that refer to the collaboration between Viasat and AeroVironment; the development and demonstration of a prototype and standards for the DDL waveform, and the benefits afforded thereby. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, contractual problems, 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 government and defense sectors generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in AeroVironment and Viasat's SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and AeroVironment's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat and AeroVironment undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.

Copyright © 2020 Viasat, Inc. All rights reserved. Viasat, the Viasat logo and the Viasat signal are registered trademarks of Viasat, Inc. All other product or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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SOURCE Viasat, Inc.

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