The National Security Agency has approved one of Viasat Inc.’s handheld military radios for use by Five Eyes partners and coalition military forces. Five Eyes is the intelligence alliance among the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Viasat (Nasdaq: VSAT) announced the development Aug. 22.
Among other things, soldiers on the ground will be able to use Viasat’s handheld radio to call in air strikes on enemies.
The device is called BATS-D, short for Battlefield Awareness and Targeting System – Dismounted. As part of a family of radios called Link 16, the BATS-D can also send and receive data. Until recently, only people on ships or aircraft could use Link 16 terminals, which can be bulky.
“Empowered with better communications, warfighters can more rapidly engage enemy targets and reduce the risk of fratricide incidents,” Viasat said in a statement.
Viasat, based in Carlsbad, offers satellite communication equipment and services to the government, commercial and consumer markets.