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U.S. Military Selects KVH Fiber Optic Gyros for Stinger and ITAS Training Simulators


KVH E-Core(R) FOGs Now Providing Real-time Image Synchronization for Three Leading U.S. Weapons Training Simulators

MIDDLETOWN, R.I., May 14, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- KVH Industries (Nasdaq: KVHI) announced today that its fiber optic gyros (FOGs) have been selected by the U.S. military to provide motion tracking, visual stabilization, and image synchronization for the Stinger and Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) training simulators. KVH gyros will be used to upgrade existing Stinger shoulder- and tripod-mounted simulators while the tripod- or vehicle-mounted ITAS simulator is an entirely new system. These orders mark the most recent selection of KVH gyros for defense-related, virtual reality simulators. KVH currently supplies FOGs for use in the Javelin Basic Skills Trainer, an order that was originally announced in November 2000.

"The use of virtual reality-based simulators offers an invaluable yet cost-effective training tool for the men and women in our armed forces," remarked Jay Napoli, KVH's director of FOG/OEM sales. "These latest orders illustrate the recognition that KVH gyros, with their precise and instant measurement of platform motion, are the ideal solution for visual synchronization. By measuring even the slightest movement and relaying this data to the simulator's computer, KVH FOGs allow the simulator's virtual image to correspond exactly to a solider's motion. As a result, soldiers can interact with a realistic battle scenario and gain expertise in the use of the missile systems without incurring the costs of live firing actual missiles."

The Stinger, ITAS, and Javelin simulators are designed to operate in the same way as the actual missile launchers. A digitized battlefield is displayed in the simulator's targeting scope and, as the soldier moves the simulator to track and fire on a potential target, the battlefield image moves correspondingly, offering a realistic battlefield environment. At the same time, the instructor can view and influence the same virtual image on a computer screen to vary the timing and types of targets while monitoring and evaluating a trainee's performance.

"Contrary to what you might see in the movies, the Javelin anti-armor, Stinger ground-to-air, and ITAS anti-tank missile systems are complex weapons that are not simply hoisted to your shoulder, pointed at a target, and fired," Napoli explained. "By carrying out training with these simulators, which look, feel, and act like the real thing, U.S. soldiers can be trained to a very high degree. Virtual reality simulators like these have been shown to significantly increase the percentage of successful hits during live fire exercises."

E-Core FOGs use KVH's proprietary polarization-maintaining optical fiber and fiber components and are highly reliable systems with no moving parts to wear out or require maintenance. FOGs provide extremely precise rotational rate information by measuring the phase difference between two paths of light traveling in opposite directions through an optical fiber. Their precision results in part because of their lack of cross-axis sensitivity to vibration and acceleration. KVH FOGs also have low noise and high bandwidth, essential to motion tracking and image stabilization applications. Currently, KVH Industries' FOGs are fielded in a wide array of defense-related applications ranging from optical, radar, and antenna aiming systems to battlefield tactical navigation systems and turret stabilization.

KVH Industries Inc., designs and manufactures products that enable mobile communication, defense navigation, and direction sensing 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 Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark.

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