Viasat Inc., a global communications company, today announced its Battlefield Awareness and Targeting System – Dismounted (BATS-D) device, known to the United States Department of Defense as the AN/PRC-161, is now authorized by the National Security Agency (NSA) for immediate use by Five Eyes (FVEY) partners and coalition forces, worldwide. The Viasat BATS-D radio bridges a critical gap between air and ground forces by providing real-time fused air/ground situational awareness to coordinate and direct forces instantaneously via machine-to-machine interface.
The terminal offers warfighters at the tactical edge secure, reliable access to integrated air and ground data for improved situational awareness capabilities and enhanced close air support communications. Empowered with better communications, warfighters can more rapidly engage enemy targets and reduce the risk of fratricide incidents.
“Viasat has a deep and enduring commitment to working with allies and coalition partners to improve warfighter safety by enhancing mission effectiveness and communications,” said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat. “Viasat’s AN/PRC-161 BATS-D is the world’s first and only handheld Link 16 radio. It is designed to solve the military’s urgent need for a small, secure Link 16 device capable of being employed by a dismounted operator that can seamlessly interoperate between air and ground forces. With NSA authorization we can speed the time to market for how U.S., FVEY and coalition militaries securely communicate and deter threats on the battlefield.”
The patented AN/PRC-161 BATS-D handheld radio is ideal for bringing full Link 16 network access to FVEY Special Operations and Expeditionary Forces. Security innovations in the AN/PRC-161 BATS-D handheld Link 16 radio, including Type 1 encryption, allow for seamless interoperability with other Link 16 radios such as the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminal (MIDS-LVT), MIDS Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) and KOR-24A Small Tactical Terminal (STT).