Coast Guard Awards $42 Million Contract for mini-VSAT Broadband Service

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – The U.S. Coast Guard today selected KVH Industries, Inc. to supply the next-generation satellite communications solution for its small cutter fleet. The winner of a full and open competitive procurement process, KVH’s TracPhone® V7 satellite communication system and the mini-VSAT Broadbandsm service becomes the U.S. Coast Guard’s Small Cutter Connectivity (SCC) Ku Band System and Air Time Support Services solution.

The U.S. Coast Guard Telecommunications and Information Systems Command (TISCOM) will deploy it over a 3- to 5-year period aboard as many as 216 small cutters representing 16 different cutter classes. The contract, encompassing the shipboard hardware, airtime services, and support, is a 10-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract valued at approximately $42 million. In conjunction with the contract award, KVH has also received the first task order from the U.S. Coast Guard to begin program implementation immediately. Supporting KVH in this multi-year effort will be network partner ViaSat, Inc. and logistics partner Mackay Communications.

The Small Cutter Connectivity program is part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s initiative to upgrade the legacy cutter fleet’s commercial satellite systems from Inmarsat to Ku-band in order to provide improved military communication capabilities for voice and data transmission and reception, as well as improving interoperability with Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense partners.

The mini-VSAT Broadband network was designed by KVH and ViaSat from the ground up to be the first next-generation maritime satellite communications solution. Based on ViaSat’s exclusive ArcLight® spread spectrum technology, KVH’s mini-VSAT network offers broadband and voice performance superior to traditional maritime VSAT or Inmarsat services via the compact KVH TracPhone V7, the first FCC-approved 24-inch (60 cm) VSAT system. The seamless worldwide network is delivered by 11 satellite transponders and 8 secure earth stations and offers voice service and Internet access as fast as 512 Kbps (upload) and 2 Mbps (download) with significant cost savings compared to competing services.

“In the face of rapidly expanding data communications requirements, including real-time use of biometric technology, homeland security efforts, and extended worldwide operations, the U.S. Coast Guard needed a global communication solution robust enough to support these demands and rugged enough for even the most demanding maritime conditions,” explains Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “It’s gratifying that the U.S. Coast Guard recognized that the combination of our TracPhone V7 and the mini-VSAT Broadband service offered the capacity and reliability to meet these requirements while providing the best value to the government. We are honored to provide the dedicated professionals of the U.S. Coast Guard with the critical satellite communication technology and service that they need to complete their missions successfully now and in the future.”

Already the fastest growing maritime VSAT solution with approximately 1,000 units shipped in the three years since the network’s launch, KVH currently provides the TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service to 38 U.S. Coast Guard small cutters, which will be part of the potential 216-vessel deployment. In addition, KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband solution is fielded aboard vessels of the U.S. Navy, joint forces, foreign coalition navies, state emergency service organizations, commercial fleets operating worldwide, and leisure yachts.

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