AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters are set to be equipped with a Link 16 network capability. (Army)
Army AH-64E attack helicopters will join the Link 16 network under a new contract with ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, Calif.
ViaSat won the sole-source award to install the KOR-24A Small Tactical Terminal (STT), which fulfills the requirement for an Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station Small Airborne Link 16 Terminal. Link 16 is a tactical data link used by the U.S., NATO and several allies.
The AH-64E is the latest version of the Apache helicopter. Known as the Guardian, it replaces the AH-64D Apache Longbow.
The STT provides an in-flight voice and data capability on both Link 16 and the Soldier Radio Waveform. The 16-pound STT is smaller, lighter and uses less power than other tactical data link equipment, which makes it suitable for helicopters, UAVs and small vehicles, according to ViaSat. It includes a range of software-defined VHF and UHF radio functions as well as Link 16.