Enhancement Offers Economical Solution for Navigation Data and Two-Way Link between Vehicles and Battle Management Systems
MIDDLETOWN, R.I., Mar 2, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The U.S. military's desire for "Blue Force Tracking" - the ability for every friendly vehicle in the field to share position and status data with commanders and other units via secure networks - showed promise of expansion to an even wider range of vehicles following KVH Industries, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: KVHI) recent demonstration of a prototype TACNAV(R) M100 Ground Mobility Enhanced Navigation System (GMENS) with satellite communication capability. The satellite link was provided by Comtech Mobile Datacom Corporation of Germantown, Maryland. U.S. Army observers who participated in the demonstration stated that this "has the potential to significantly impact the way we obtain positioning data."
"The value and effectiveness of digital Battle Management Systems, such as the U.S. Army's FBCB2 system, are directly related to the number of vehicles that are contributing to the overall operational picture," explained Dan Conway, KVH's vice president of business development. "Essentially, more vehicles in the network translates to a more complete understanding of the battlefield situation. The TACNAV M100 GMENS is a simple, affordable solution to equipping a variety of vehicles - from ambulances and fuel trucks to Humvees and special operations units - with an unjammable navigation system that already offers an interface compatible with FBCB2 and other Battle Management Systems. By combining the TACNAV M100 GMENS with the same Comtech two-way satellite link used in Blue Force Tracking, we can potentially offer the military the means to connect virtually any vehicle in the field to the common operational picture."
The successful demonstration for the U.S. Army brought together a U.S. Special Operations Command-approved TACNAV M100 GMENS and a Comtech MT-2011 Mobile Satellite Transceiver, one of the key components of the U.S. Army's existing Movement Tracking System. Throughout the test, the combined system sent critical situational awareness data, including the moving vehicle's position, location, time, and heading via satellite link to a battlefield command system.
"We worked very closely with Comtech to create what we believe is a simple, economical system that has the potential to help improve overall situational awareness for all command and field units and provide better asset tracking," continued Conway. "By applying this technology to every vehicle, the digital battlefield network will provide a more comprehensive picture of units in the field. As a result, operational tempo can be increased, mission effectiveness can be improved, and the risk of friendly fire incidents or the loss of troops due to navigation errors can be reduced. We are continuing to refine this proof-of-concept system using feedback from our potential end users within the U.S. military."
The TACNAV M100 GMENS, already in full production for U.S. SOCOM, was most recently used during Operation Iraqi Freedom. While the TACNAV M100 GMENS complements the Global Positioning System (GPS), it operates independently of GPS thanks to the use of KVH's digital compass technology. As a result, the TACNAV M100 GMENS will continue to provide navigation, position, and heading data, even if GPS is blocked, jammed, or is otherwise unavailable. TACNAV systems have been sold for use aboard U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Navy vehicles as well as to many allied countries, including Canada, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Italy.
Comtech Mobile Datacom Corporation is a subsidiary of Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (Nasdaq: CMTL), which designs, develops, produces and markets innovative products, systems and services for advanced communications solutions.
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-certified company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fiber optic and military navigation product manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. For example, the statements regarding KVH's product plans, intended use of KVH's products, or the functionality, characteristics, quality, and performance of KVH's products are forward-looking statements. The actual results realized by the company could differ materially from the statements made herein. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to: challenges in developing new technology, unanticipated delays in development, uneven military sales cycles; changes in competing technologies and products; changes or cancellation of orders received, and worldwide economic variances. Additional factors are discussed in the company's most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. Copies are available through the company's Investor Relations department and web site, www.kvh.com. KVH assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information and developments.