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KVH Introduces Worldwide Ships Security Alert System Solution for Mariners


Compliant with New IMO and U.S. Coast Guard Regulations, the KVH eTrac SSAS Alerts Authorities to Danger with the Push of a Button

MIDDLETOWN, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 30, 2003-- In the face of an increasing threat of terrorism at sea, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) have established new regulations to ensure that all large vessels are equipped with a ships security alert system (SSAS) capable of alerting authorities with just the push of a button to hijacking, piracy, or terrorism attempts. To help ship owners and crews maximize their safety and meet this requirement easily and affordably, KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) introduces the eTrac(TM) SSAS. This small, integrated communication system uses the Inmarsat mini-C communication system and real-time GPS position reporting to provide worldwide alert and fleet tracking capabilities and is fully compliant with IMO and USCG requirements. In contrast with other SSAS solutions, the eTrac SSAS is easy to install and has no monthly or other service charges.

"There is clearly a growing concern that large commercial vessels could become targets for hijacking by international terrorists or fall prey to pirates," explained Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH's president and chief executive officer. "The ability to alert shore-based authorities instantly to any danger will be critical to the safety of crews, harbors, and people on shore. With its global satellite communications capability, multiple 'panic buttons' and integrated GPS, eTrac SSAS is ideally suited for this task."

Compliance with the new regulations - IMO Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Resolution XI-2/6 and USCG Regulation 2003-14749 - has become time-critical for commercial shipping. Under these regulations, every vessel 500 gross tons or larger that seeks to enter a U.S. port after July 1, 2004, must comply with the SSAS requirements or be denied entry, raising the specter of a disruption in international shipping to and from the United States.

The eTrac SSAS is very easy to use - just press one of the two panic buttons to instantly send an alert containing such information as vessel identification, time, and precise location. The rugged KVH eTrac SSAS stands less than 6" high and weighs only 2.4 lbs and can be installed easily. The eTrac SSAS antenna is a fully integrated system, containing a transceiver, antenna, and a 12-channel GPS receiver. The two panic buttons can be placed as far as 165 feet away from an interconnection box to make sure an alert can easily be sounded should the need arise. With no monthly subscriptions or transmission costs for emergency messages, eTrac SSAS offers an extremely low lifetime cost. By comparison, alternative technologies require a monthly fee whether the system is used or not.

The eTrac can also be equipped with vessel monitoring software for regular position reporting, allowing fleet managers to have worldwide fleet tracking and polling capabilities. The combination of Inmarsat's mini-C and GPS service and KVH's reliability makes eTrac SSAS an invaluable safety tool for any commercial vessel or megayacht and its crew, and offers a cost-effective solution to ensure compliance with IMO and USCG regulations. Additional information about the eTrac SSAS and KVH's complete line of satellite communication systems is available at

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 manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark.

This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements address, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance of KVH's products and technology; changing regulatory requirements, price competition, competitive product introductions, and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, those discussed in KVH's most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. KVH assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments.

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