AeroVironment Inc. has partnered with communications company Viasat Inc. to provide one of its drones with a highly secure communications network.

The manufacturer of unmanned aircraft in Simi Valley will be a subcontractor to Viasat, in Carlsbad, on a contract for the U.S. Army under its Reconfigurable Communications for Small Unmanned Systems initiative.

The two companies will work together to develop and demonstrate advanced, encrypted communications suitable for AeroVironment’s Puma drone. The two companies will seek to strengthen the communications and transmission security of AeroVironment’s Digital Data Link radios currently used by the U.S. Army by converting them into a Type 1 crypto communication system for video and data transmission, AeroVironment said in a statement.

Scott Newbern, chief technology officer for AeroVironment, said that the U.S. military plan to operate against adversaries possessing advanced electronic warfare capabilities, so the need for more secure communication capabilities is rapidly increasing.

“We will work with Viasat to provide customers requiring enhanced, secure communication capabilities with a portable, practical solution for maintaining secret-level communications via tactical unmanned aircraft systems operating at the battlefield’s edge,” Newbern said in a statement.

Shares of AeroVironment (AVAV) closed Thursday up $2.40, or more than 3 percent, to $74.03 on the Nasdaq, on a day when that market closed down almost 0.5 percent.