Canadian Navy to integrate ViaSat's Link 16 system on Halifax-class frigates


The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is set to deploy US-based broadband services and technology company ViaSat's end-to-end Link 16 communications system on-board its Halifax-class multi-role patrol frigates.

The upgraded technology is expected to allow the RCN to communicate more effectively with the US, Nato and other allied forces via Link 16 interoperability.

ViaSat's new end-to-end communications system will work as a bridge to the future fleet communications.

The new maritime threats are faster, stealthier, more manoeuvrable and are able to move closer from an open ocean environment to near-shore scenarios.

The RCN is scheduled to undergo a major communications upgrade across the entire Halifax-class fleet using the Link 16 waveform, in order to counter these potential future sea-based attacks more effectively.

ViaSat Government Systems president Ken Peterman said: “The Halifax-class frigates are the backbone of the RCN and require a communications infrastructure that will enable sailors to more effectively communicate worldwide, today and into the future.

"The Halifax-class frigates are the backbone of the RCN and require a communications infrastructure that will enable sailors to more effectively communicate worldwide."

“As the threat landscape for these frigates evolve, so must the technology platforms that support them.

“This was a highly competitive selection process. Winning this award showcases how ViaSat is well-positioned to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with end-to-end, integrated capabilities for secure, interoperable communications across any mission, platform or network.”

The end-to-end Link 16 communications system boosts a Canadian multilink capability using integrated shipboard racks equipped with critical support equipment.

The equipment can be used to fully operate the multifunctional information distribution system (MIDS) low-volume terminal (LVT) (4) technology, which is an advanced, anti-jam data and voice communications solution.

In addition, the system includes specialised cabling to enable interaction with Link 22 capabilities for future support, as well as ViaSat's software diagnostic tools for terminal and network analytics.