Private/public partnerships create secure military communications systems

With technology leadership crossing from defence to private enterprise, Viasat explain how they work with the MoD and DoD to provide secure satellite communications services for air, sea and land missions

Private sector enterprises offer “enormous potential” for development of secure communications systems across the battlespace, according to Viasat’s President of Government Systems.

The company provides military satellite communications services and systems for air, land, and sea missions for both the US DoD and UK MoD. Viasat also builds in cybersecurity, data protection and classified-grade security into the entire infrastructure, from networks and devices to endpoints and data centres.

Ken Peterman, President of Government Systems for Viasat explained: “We are advancing communications technologies in remarkable ways. Our satellite constellations now have 100 to 1000 times the capacity of existing DoD and MoD military satellite communication systems and we are also applying cyber security and communications security devices that operate at speed in order to provide cloud access and cloud empowerment to the warfighter, just like we provide in the civilian world.” 

Viasat investing heavily in UK

The company is investing heavily in the UK to help the UK MoD make the most of its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and F35 fleet. Steve Beeching, Managing Director – Viasat UK, said the company was working with the MoD to make the most of these assets: “They are attracting large amounts of data which needs to be assured through the network, so we are working heavily with the MoD deliver those at pace.” 

Viasat is investing heavily in the UK and has doubled headcount over the past 18 months, Beeching said there was an enormous opportunity for government departments to leverage technological expertise from private sector companies.

Technology leadership “crossed over to private sector”

Peterman explained: “The defence industrial base has invented most of these technologies – mobile networking, satellite communications, global positioning systems, cyber security. They have invented these technologies over the last 30 -40 years to empower warfighters and keep them safe.”

“That technology leadership has crossed over now to the private sector and Dod and Mod instead can now, instead of having to invent, can adapt and apply more rapidly than ever before and take advantage of these opportunities.”

Beeching said the UK investment would continue with the UK office based in Farnborough, near to its customers, set to double headcount again in the next 18 months. The company will also be looking at acquisitions to deliver user requirements.

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