Air Force One connectivity provider announced


Above: The current pair of B747-200s in the Air Force One fleet will be replaced by a new B747-8

July 25, 2016 – Exciting news: the connectivity provider for Air Force One has been announced! The United States Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has awarded ViaSat, a global broadband services and technology company, a non-competitive, firm-fixed-price contract to provide global in-flight broadband and communications services for the new Presidential B747-8, VC-25s, C-17s, C-32s, C-37s, C-40s and the complete range of VIP and special air mission aircraft. According to DISA, the face value of this award is US$33,052,330, and the total cumulative face value of the contract is $73,217,722.

According to ViaSat, the service enables “a Situation Room in the Sky” experience, with the ability to use the in-flight broadband connection to stream full-motion high-definition video for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and for en-route command and control and search and rescue missions. The connection can also be used to maintain two-way communications through HD video conference calling or voice over internet protocol calls, and to access real-time intelligence and other location-based, live-sensor data for critical decision-making and more.

“ViaSat’s high-capacity global in-flight internet service ensures executive and government leaders and their teams can stay connected, informed and productive, maximizing the effectiveness of time in-flight with ‘Situation Room and Command Center’ connectivity in the sky,” said Ken Peterman, senior vice president and general manager, Government Systems Division, ViaSat. “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.”

ViaSat believes a key enabler to delivering this global in-flight broadband connectivity is that it offers a field-proven, certified, hybrid Ku-/Ka-band system, which will keep government aircraft connected to ViaSat’s best available satellite network. The hybrid terminal and radome enables automatic in-flight network switching across Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks for an advanced “global roaming capability.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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