BETHESDA, Md. and DULLES, Va., Dec. 2, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) and ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) today announced that ITT has received a contract from the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division to supply 1,450 Iridium-based handheld tactical satellite communication devices for use by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Under the firm, fixed-price contract, valued at $9.7 million, ITT will manufacture and deliver the Distributed Tactical Communications Systems - Radio Only (DTCS-RO) transceivers by March 2010. The DTCS-RO handheld push-to-talk radios use the Iridium satellite network to provide over-the-horizon, beyond-line-of-sight tactical networks for warfighters on the move.
In June, NSWC awarded Iridium a five-year development contract valued at up to $21.7 million for Phase Two of the DTCS program, also known as "Netted Iridium." In Phase One, launched in 2006, Iridium worked with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and industry partners under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to demonstrate the feasibility of using Iridium's satellite network to support a multicast architecture for tactical voice and data communications. The DoD tested proof-of-concept units, and has successfully deployed early prototypes and low-rate production devices in combat operations.
Under Phase Two, Iridium is making in-orbit upgrades to the satellites and ground infrastructure to expand the footprint of DTCS nets from 100 to 250 miles, and to permit more than 2,000 nets to be activated simultaneously on the satellite network. The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of December 2009.
"The initial production contract to ITT validates DoD's commitment to deploying this important tactical communication capability to warfighters in the field as quickly as possible," said Lt. Gen. John Campbell, USAF (Ret.), executive vice president for government programs at Iridium. "DTCS fulfills an immediate mission-critical requirement for beyond-line-of-sight and over-the-horizon communications in mountainous terrain. The DTCS-RO handsets are lightweight, easy to use, require no deployed infrastructure, and represent a real breakthrough in handheld mobile satellite communications."
"Keeping our soldiers connected with tactical comms-on-the-move capabilities is vital to their missions," said Mark Adams, vice president, ITT Corporation. "DTCS will allow commanders and other network users at all echelons to exchange information throughout the theater of operations regardless of terrain features."
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium Communications Inc. (www.iridium.com) is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. The Company's customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., U.S.A. and trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units).
About ITT Corporation
ITT Corporation (www.itt.com) is a high-technology engineering and manufacturing company operating on all seven continents in three vital markets: water and fluids management; global defense and security; and motion and flow control. With a heritage of innovation, ITT partners with its customers to deliver extraordinary solutions that create more livable environments, provide protection and safety and connect our world. Headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., the company generated 2008 sales of $11.7 billion.
CONTACT: Iridium Communications Inc. Liz DeCastro +1 (301) 571-6257 email@example.com ITT Corporation Gary Tarantino +1 (631) 630-5059 firstname.lastname@example.org
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