AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems and ViaSat Enter Strategic Alliance
Aligns State-of-the-Art UAS with Beyond-Line-of-Sight Communications and Network Security
Hunt Valley, Md. and Carlsbad, Calif. — January 23, 2012 — AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq:VSAT) announced today that the organizations have entered into a strategic alliance to align AAI’s advanced unmanned aircraft and command and control technologies with ViaSat integrated airborne and terrestrial satellite communications, as well as its Internet Protocol-based networking and security technology. Under the agreement, the organizations intend to develop and mature beyond-line-of-sight satellite communications capabilities for current and next-generation AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems aircraft.
Along with fellow Textron Systems business Overwatch, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems and ViaSat collaborate on the Forward Airborne Secure Transmission and Communication, or FASTCOM™, system. FASTCOM is an end-to-end, mobile cellular network that accommodates Top Secret smartphone communications. Through this strategic alliance, the two companies can build on the FASTCOM system’s maturity with additional third- and fourth-generation, or 3G and 4G, capability to further enhance battlefield communications.
“The performance and affordability of tactical UAS like our Shadow® system make them an invaluable battlefield asset with a growing mission spectrum,” says Senior Vice President and General Manager Steven Reid of AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “Our customers’ unmanned assets need to be as flexible and capable as the troops who utilize them, and this new strategic alliance with ViaSat is one way that we’re staying on the leading edge of system development and integration.”
“This new phase of the AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems relationship is completely in-sync with our intent to continue delivering industry-leading broadband performance over ultra-small-aperture airborne satellite communication systems,” said Vice President and General Manager for ViaSat Global Mobile Broadband Paul Baca. “And our private satellite network services can deliver the dedicated bandwidth needed to distribute tactical UAS video throughout the battlespace.”
Textron Systems Corporation
Joe LoBello/Scott Cianciulli
About AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems
AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems has designed, manufactured and fielded combat-proven unmanned aircraft systems for more than 25 years. AAI’s multi-mission capable unmanned aircraft and interoperable command and control technologies provide critical situational awareness and actionable intelligence for users worldwide. Its Australia-based strategic business, Aerosonde Pty Ltd, is a manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft systems. AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems. More information is available at www.aaicorp.com.
About Textron Systems
Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., the company is known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment and operational services. Textron Systems includes AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Advanced Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, MillenWorks, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.
ViaSat delivers fast, secure communications, Internet, and remote network access to fixed sites or on-the-move. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. and allied governments; is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and offers high-speed Ka-band satellite broadband services. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., ViaSat has established a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development. More information is available at www.viasat.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. ViaSat wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to: contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations; and increased competition and other factors affecting the defense industry generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in ViaSat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including ViaSat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. ViaSat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
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