WASHINGTON — The purchase of Viasat’s tactical datalink business will help realize L3Harris Technologies’ common all-domain command and control ambitions and will likely move the company up the defense contract ladder, according to CEO Chris Kubasik.
The potential $1.96 billion purchase of the Link 16 multifunctional information distribution system platforms, their associated terminals and space assets “fits nicely into our communications and networking-centric portfolio” , allowing the company to bring the Pentagon’s JADC2 effort to life. said on October 28 during a conference call with discuss third quarter financial results.
“It gives us the footprint on over 20,000 platforms, and the real estate issues on those platforms, whether it’s airplanes, ships or other platforms,” Kubasik said. . “We will be able to modernize and upgrade Link 16. We will be able to work in other waveforms and focus on resilience,” he added. “It’s just an accelerator.”
JADC2 is the Ministry of Defense’s vision for a perfectly connected armywhere information flows quickly and securely to friendly forces on land, in the air, at sea, in space and in cyberspace.
The Army, Air Force, and Navy each have their own contributions to the multi-billion dollar effort: Project Convergence, Advanced Battle Management System, and Project Overmatch, respectively. In mid-September, L3Harris was named to the ABMS Digital Infrastructure Consortium alongside four other companies.
The Harris-Viasat L3 Agreement was unveiled shortly after, on October 3. It is expected to close in the first half of 2023.
“Strategically, I couldn’t have asked for a better first acquisition. It was pretty straightforward and pretty easy,” Kubasik said. “It fits perfectly into our portfolio, fills a gap we had. It ties into JADC2, networks, communications, everything we’re known for.”
The current sale should report viasat $1.8 billion, after taxes and other payments.
The data link business, part of Viasat’s Government Systems division, generated some $400 million in annual revenue. Link 16 – a secure, jam-resistant, high-speed communications line used in all domains and by NATO – accounts for one-third of Viasat’s government business.
Kubasik previously told C4ISRNET in an interview that the purchase of Viasat’s product line would stimulate competition in the defense industrial base. He reignited the sentiment during the earnings call.
“Our momentum is building and I’m optimistic about the opportunities for value creation,” he said on Friday. “Financially, as I said, it’s accretive. It gives us, once again, a seat at the table and continues to move us up the food chain.
L3Harris was the tenth largest defense contractor by revenue in the latest rankings of defense news, behind BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and many others. Viasat was No. 73.
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networking, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely the Cold War cleanup and the development of nuclear weapons — for a South Carolina daily. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.