Fielded by U.S. SOCOM, M100 Ground Mobility Enhanced Navigation System Provides Unjammable Navigation for Light Vehicles
MIDDLETOWN, RI – October 6, 2003 – The high OPTEMPO that characterized Operation Iraqi Freedom ushered in a new approach to American warfighting, one that capitalizes on speed, coordination, and flexibility. However, Operation Iraqi Freedom also exposed the critical need for all military vehicles, not simply the front-line combat units, to be equipped with unjammable navigation capabilities. With combat, combat support, and service support vehicles all operating in hostile territory, the ability for those units to advance together, coordinate their operations, and reach their objectives safely becomes paramount. The new M100 Ground Mobility Enhanced Navigation System (GMENS) from KVH Industries (Nasdaq: KVHI) can equip every military unit with these abilities by providing unjammable navigation data and Digital Battlefield integration, all in an affordable U.S. Army type classified system.
Commenting on the need for vehicle navigation, Dan Conway, KVH’s vice president of business development, said, “In this new era of rapid advance and swarm tactics, a lack of navigation data can mean that critical supply and support vehicles fail to advance as quickly and effectively as the front-line combat vehicles they support, hampering combat operations and endangering vehicle crews and their mission. The M100 GMENS, which is already being fielded aboard all U.S. SOCOM vehicles, has been created to address this issue and support navigation needs across the entire fleet. As a standard Army product, the M100 GMENS has completed all formal testing, has logistics and training support in place, and is available to any vehicle program with the need and the budget.”
The M100 GMENS is a member of KVH’s TACNAV family of tactical navigation systems. KVH’s TACNAV and fiber optic gyro products offer every vehicle and every force commander – whether in a command, support, or combat vehicle – 100% availability of position and other tactical data, even if the signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are disrupted or jammed. It includes both inertial and magnetic field sensors, making it impossible to jam. Its navigation capabilities were unaffected by harsh weather, and the system proved ideal for precision vehicle navigation in combat situations.
Early systems were used during the Gulf War, and KVH’s latest-generation equipment is already fielded on U.S., Canadian, and British vehicles currently serving in such operational theatres as Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. Combat units like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which are equipped with precision navigation systems like KVH’s TACNAV TLS, are able to advance at unprecedented speeds. Unfortunately, there is a growing inability of the combat support and service support units to keep up and maintain the level of operational coordination required to support advancing combat forces.
The need to field effective, reliable navigation capabilities throughout the entire vehicle fleet was clearly reflected in a recent article in Army Magazine by Lt. General Charles Mahan, Jr., who wrote, “In these days of task-organized units and high-operational speed, all combat support and service support units must be able to keep pace and effectively communicate with the maneuver units they support…they cannot be successful without the appropriate tools. Gone are the days when logistics was considered a rear echelon function with minimal risk.” (“Army Logistics: Our Reality, Our Future”, Army Magazine, October 2003).
The TACNAV product family has been fielded by both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps as well as by many allied countries, including Canada, Sweden, Britain, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Italy, making TACNAV the most widely fielded tactical navigation system in the industry.
“Our entire TACNAV family has proved its worth to U.S. and allied troops during the last decade, most recently in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom,” concluded Conway. “The M100 GMENS is the next step in our efforts to ensure that every vehicle and crew has the capabilities they need to carry out their mission and come home safely.”
KVH Industries, Inc., designs and manufactures products that enable mobile communication, navigation, and precision pointing through the use of its proprietary mobile satellite antenna and fiber optic technologies. The company is developing next-generation systems with greater precision, durability, and versatility for communications, navigation, and industrial applications. An ISO 9001-registered company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fiber optic manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark.