Technology Stocks : KVH Industries, Inc.
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To: Roadkill who wrote (235)12/2/1998 7:52:00 AM
From: Roy F   of 7022
U.S. Marine Corps Selects KVH's TACNAVLight For Projected $5 Million Navigation Upgrade

December 1, 1998 08:00 AM
MIDDLETOWN, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 1, 1998--KVH Industries, Inc. KVHI today announced that the U.S. Marine Corps has selected the company's TACNAV(tm) Light navigation system for a rebuild of its fleet of AAV 7s (amphibious assault vehicles). The company anticipates that revenues will total nearly $5 million over the course of the four-year rebuild and plans to deliver the initial $625,000 order by December 31.

"The AAV 7 represents an ideal application for TACNAV Light, which we designed to fill an unmet need for precise tactical navigation capabilities on military vehicles that don't require the turret pointing features of our TACNAV systems for heavy armored units," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH president and CEO. "With our previous experience in designing and supplying compasses to enhance U.S. Marine amphibious navigation capabilities, we were able to anticipate this need and rapidly design a solution that is being embraced by the military."

The basic TACNAV Light system provides continuous heading data to vehicle drivers with the smart electronic compass detecting and compensating for any distorting effects of the vehicle. As demands grow for increasingly precise tactical navigation capabilities that will keep forces viable on the battlefields of the 21st Century, TACNAV Light units can be easily upgraded by the Marine Corps to include: GPS integration for "steer-to" and "cross-track error" navigation; dead reckoning capabilities to back up GPS and provide full-time position data; and commanders' displays that show vehicle position. Accurate cross-track navigation is particularly critical in amphibious landings where coastal currents can cause a vehicle to miss the targeted beaching site.

"The recent TACNAV Light order represents the third generation of navigation systems KVH has supplied for U.S. Marine amphibious vehicles, following the initial MV103A compasses and a subsequent upgrade to MV103AR units," noted Chris Burnett, vice president of business development. "Repeat business such as this validates our product design and quality plus our ability to develop new generations of navigation products in step with technical advances in the military such as GPS."

To date, five repeat orders from the U.S. Army for the TACNAV systems used on heavy armored vehicles has brought KVH nearly $11 million in total revenues from this one customer. Such reorders also confirm the Army's satisfaction with the TACNAV system. The most recent purchase represented the first use of the tactical navigation system by the U.S. Army National Guard and the first extension of TACNAV deployment beyond the Army's initial intended application in Bradley tanks used in Operation Desert Storm. In 1998 alone, KVH has received repeat TACNAV orders from the U.S. Army of $2.6 million.

"Our success in rapidly developing TACNAV Light is just one more example of KVH's ability to anticipate market opportunities and then design appropriate products," said Kits van Heyningen. "By applying that strategy to each of our product sectors, we expect to remain a recognizable force in the mobile navigation and communications markets."

KVH also is developing a fiber optic gyro (FOG) sensor upgrade to TACNAV that interfaces with GPS to deliver reliable, highly accurate navigation and targeting capabilities at a fraction of the cost of traditional inertial systems. The FOG system will increase heading accuracy, improve stability and ensure the continuous delivery of attitude and azimuth functions on high-speed-maneuvering armored vehicles.

KVH Industries utilizes its proprietary fiber optic, autocalibration and sensor technologies to produce navigation and mobile satellite communications systems for commercial, military and marine applications. The company has headquarters in Middletown, RI, (USA) with offices in Illinois, Florida and Denmark.

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