The ongoing maritime VSAT installations are part of KVH’s 10-year contract with the U.S. Coast Guard to upgrade vessel communications capability
KVH Industries, Inc., said it has surpassed the 100-vessel mark in its 10-year contract to supply the next-generation satellite communications solution for the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet of small cutters. To date, KVH’s TracPhone V7 systems have been deployed on 105 USCG vessels across eight different classes of cutters, and KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service has provided 29.2 terabytes of data and more than 835,000 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) minutes. The contract for hardware, airtime, and support was first announced in September 2010.
KVH systems are now in use on cutters in all U.S. Coast Guard districts in the continental U.S., as well as overseas in the Persian Gulf, Guam, and Puerto Rico. A cutter is a USCG designation for any vessel over 65 feet in length, including coastal patrol boats, seagoing buoy tenders, and fast-response cutters.
This diverse range of platforms supports a variety of critical USCG operations including drug interdiction, maritime border security, anti-piracy tasks, search and rescue operations, and humanitarian efforts. The low latency of the KVH service is particularly important to the fast and efficient processing of biometric information from vessel to shore, a key to immigration and law enforcement activities. The 24/7 nature of USCG operations and the extreme sea and weather conditions in which these relatively small vessels operate are proof of the durability and reliability of the TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service.
“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 communications 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. “Affordability was a critical factor for the U.S. Coast Guard as well, and our mini-VSAT Broadband network offers a cost-effective solution to replace expensive legacy services and still provide global coverage.”
In announcing the 10-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, valued at approximately $42 million, in September 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard Telecommunications and Information Systems Command (TISCOM) named KVH’s TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service as the U.S. Coast Guard’s Small Cutter Connectivity (SCC) Ku-band System and Air Time Support Services solution. The SCC program is part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s initiative to upgrade the legacy cutter fleet’s commercial satellite systems in order to provide improved communication capabilities for voice and data transmission and reception, as well as improving interoperability with Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense partners. Supporting KVH in this multi-year effort are network partner ViaSat, Inc., and logistics partner Mackay Communications.
In addition to the deployment of TracPhone V7 on the U.S. Coast Guard cutters, KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband solution is fielded aboard vessels of the U.S. Navy, joint forces, foreign coalition navies, state emergency service organizations, and commercial fleets operating worldwide.