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ViaSat to Provide In-Flight Internet for Air Force One

Satellite broadband service provider ViaSat said it has notched a contract valued at $73.21 million provide global in-flight Internet and connectivity services to Air Force One and other U.S. government senior leader aircraft. 

The “non-competitive, firm-fixed price contract” awarded by the United States Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) covers support for VC-25s, C-17s, C-32s, C-37s, C-40s and the complete range of VIP and special air mission aircraft, ViaSat said.

ViaSat said the service, based on a hybrid Ku/Ka-band system, will enable “a Situation Room in the Sky experience,” and allow for an in-flight connection strong enough to handle full-motion high-definition video streaming for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), en-route Command and Control (C2) and Search and Rescue (S&R) missions. It also can maintain two-way communications through HD video conference calling or VoIP calls.

Citing DISA figures, ViaSat said the face value of the award is $33.05 million, funded by fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance funding, with a total cumulative face value of $73.21 million.

“The period of performance” runs spans June 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017, with two six-month option periods, ViaSat said.

“This award is a significant accomplishment and we are proud to be delivering remarkably fast data speeds and an abundance of capacity to support the in-flight communications needs of our government’s senior leadership on Air Force One and other special air mission aircraft,” Ken Peterman, SVP and GM for ViaSat’s government systems division said, in a statement.

ViaSat ended its fiscal Q4 with 697,000 residential subs; it reports fiscal Q1 2017 results next month.