Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) to focus on business opportunities in Greece

Since opening its Greek office in 2010, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has made inroads into the Greek shipping market. Based in Piraeus, the IRClass office has been actively engaged with Greek shipyards and owners to offer its full range of classification services.

It has recently certified three Ro-Ro vessels in Greece for the Theodoropoulos shipyard and has also taken several other vessels into Class.

Currently, IRClass is working on seeking authorisation from Greek maritime authorities to survey and certify all types of Greek flagged vessels.

To add focus to the Greek market, IRClass MD, Mr. Suresh Sinha will be speaking at Capital Link’s 10th Annual Greek Shipping Forum on Friday February 22nd at the Hilton Athens hotel.

“The Greek maritime market is important to IRClass and our expansion strategy is to focus our services in this region due to the large concentration of ship owners. We look forward to networking and meeting with the Greek shipping community and build on the business relationships which our team in Piraeus has developed”, said Mr. Sinha.

Sulphur and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Priority for ICS

“The 2020 global sulphur cap will be the regulatory game changer of the decade with profound implications for the economics of shipping” believes Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson. “But there are even more profound changes to come.  We are rapidly moving into a multi-fuel future to be followed we hope, in the 2030s, by the arrival of commercially viable zero CO2 fuels suitable for global application.”

Mr Poulsson was speaking following the ICS Board meeting in London last week, attended by senior representatives of the world’s national shipowners’ associations.

As the 1 January 2020 deadline for the sulphur cap approaches, ICS members reviewed progress in persuading the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) to take measures to address expected implementation problems.  This includes outstanding safety and fuel compatibility issues associated with the use of new 0.5% sulphur blends and continuing uncertainty over the availability of compliant fuels in every port worldwide, a particular challenge for tramp trades.  The ICS Board concluded that it will be vital for the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee to complete this work at its meeting in May 2019, as shipowners begin ordering compliant fuels.

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Britannia Granted Licence to Underwrite Business in Singapore and Launches Two Chinese Language Websites

On 25 January Britannia P&I Club was granted a licence to underwrite business from its Singapore branch.

The licence was granted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and follows the recent further positive news of Britannia’s Hong Kong branch also receiving its underwriting licence from Hong Kong’s insurance regulator, the Insurance Authority.

The Singapore branch will be managed by Tindall Riley (Britannia) Singapore (TR(B)S) and is headed by John O’Flaherty, Chief Executive, who has had many years of experience in marine insurance and shipping.

John’s team of seven colleagues includes:

– Derek Birch, a qualified lawyer with experience both in private practice and with other P&I Clubs. Derek heads the local claims team, which includes Capt. Rajesh Raman, Capt. Nasir Subahrie, Sivakami Moorthy and Victoria McFarlane, all of whom have legal, maritime and/or insurance backgrounds; and

– Capt. Ajit Karande, who is responsible for correspondent work and overseeing Britannia’s ASEAN correspondents.

The Singapore office will look after Britannia’s ASEAN countries Members as well as its Members in India and Australasia. It will also assist where required with all Members’ claims arising in the ASEAN region, in association with Britannia’s local port correspondents.

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S&P Upgrades The Swedish Club to ‘A-‘ Rating

The Swedish Club is pleased to report that on January 23, 2019, S&P Global Ratings raised its insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings on The Swedish Club to A- with stable outlook.

S&P reported that through disciplined underwriting and strong risk controls The Swedish Club has continued to record combined ratios close to 100% despite testing conditions in its main markets.  It believes that these improvements, combined with a sturdy operating performance, should enable the Club’s capital position to remain resilient to market challenges over the next 24 months.

Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club is delighted with the news: “This is an important step for The Swedish Club and will enable us to further develop our growth and diversification strategies around the world.  As a mutual society this news is a testimony to the quality and support of our members and to the commitment and expertise of our team. Read more

New Initiatives Announced to Strengthen Singapore as a Global Maritime Hub

Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, announced two initiatives for the maritime industry at the Singapore Shipping Association’s (SSA) Annual Lunar New Year Cocktail Reception yesterday evening. The two initiatives, the Singapore War Risks Insurance Conditions (SWRIC) and the development of an inter-operability framework for electronic trade documents for the maritime and trade industries, will strengthen Singapore’s standing as a leading global maritime hub.

Enhancing Singapore’s maritime insurance offerings

The SWRIC is an enhancement to the Singapore War Risks Mutual (SWRM), Singapore’s first national war risks insurance facility which was launched in 2015 as part of efforts to develop Singapore as a comprehensive marine insurance hub. Available to members of SSA irrespective of the flag of the ship, and non-members whose ships are registered in Singapore, the cover under SWRM rules includes Protection and Indemnity (P&I) war risks, hull war risks, detention and diversion expenses, sue and labour and discretionary insurance. In a short span of four years since its launch, the SWRM cover has exceeded expectations with close to 800 ships insured. Read more

Britannia Granted Licence to Underwrite Business in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s insurance regulator, the Insurance Authority (IA), has granted Britannia a licence to underwrite business from its Hong Kong office.

This positive news is in line with Britannia’s strategy of ‘think global, act local’. This has seen new Exclusive Correspondents for the Association opening in Taiwan and Denmark and the recent purchase by Tindall Riley (Britannia’s Managers) of the Britannia exclusive correspondents in Japan and Singapore as well as Tindall Riley opening an office in Greece.

Britannia is also working towards activating its licence in principle, obtained in late 2018, which will allow it to underwrite business out of Singapore. 

The Hong Kong branch office will continue to be managed by the very experienced existing team led by Tim Fuller as the Chief Executive, Richard Inman as Head of Underwriting, Gordon McGilvray as Head of Claims and Monica Kwok as Head of Finance.

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Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) signs MoU with the Government of Assam for World Bank funded inland water transport project

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) and the Government of Assam, a key state in India’s north-east, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further enhance the state’s inland water transport (IWT) system to improve commuter safety.The MOU follows the funding agreement between the Government of Assam and the World Bank to modernize and transform inland water transport in the state which has the largest network of navigable inland waterways in India. Plans include the integration of high quality passenger and vehicle ferry services into its wider transport network.

IRClass will be providing technical assistance to the Government of Assam including the preparation of technical specification of vessels, evaluation of shipyards bids, inspections during construction and certification.

This MOU will be administered under the guidance and initiative of the Assam Government’s Commissioner & Secretary (Transport) and IRClass will partner with Assam Inland Water Transport Development Society (AIWTDS) to support its plans.

Sr. Principal Surveyor & VP, Cdr K Dhawan, IN (Retd.) said today:

“IRClass is delighted to be part of this initiative which will raise the safety and technical standards of the state’s inland water transport system. This initiative will help boost the state’s growth with scaling opportunities including the development of IWT terminals, port townships and operation of river taxis. IRClass will soon be opening an office in Guwahati to work closely with the Assam Government in developing its inland water transport.”

 

The Swedish Club: New Lessons from Past Experiences

The Swedish Club has launched its new edition of Claims at a Glance, a whistle-stop tour of cases and statistics taken from its experiences in Loss Prevention over the last three years. Claims at a Glance offers the Club’s own perspective on some of the real-life cases it has recently dealt with and provides updates on some of the Club’s key Loss Prevention publications from the last three years.

It makes interesting reading: in the time period studied the report finds that a pilot is on board ship during 30% of all collisions; 66% of all contacts and 58% of all groundings. It reports that 55% of all auxiliary engine claims occur within the first 1,000 hours of overhaul; and since the last report, you are now more likely to suffer a slip or fall on a bulk carrier than a container vessel or a tanker.

Claims at a Glance reviews both P&I and H&M issues ranging from cargo damage, navigational error and machinery through to piracy and injuries and illness. Read more

IRClass Review of 2018 and Projections for 2019

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) continues to record steady growth in its classed fleet, flag recognition and geographical presence, mirroring the shipping industry’s ongoing recovery.

Fleet Growth

With tankers and bulk carriers continuing to dominate IRClass’s tonnage, the classed fleet has grown more than 4% in the past year, with the foreign flag fleet seeing a particularly impressive growth of 22% which is 16% in tonnage terms and indicative of strong overseas growth. 

Flag Recognition and Geographical Presence

IRClass is now recognised by 41 flag states globally, seeing recent additions in 2018 from the Netherlands, Vietnam, Jordan and Bahrain.

Towards the end of 2018, it also received approval from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), strengthening its offshore portfolio in the Middle East and opened an office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to better service its customers in the region.

Strengthened Portfolio with Defence and Government Projects

On the domestic front, Defence continues to be a growth area for IRClass with key project wins as well as construction of Inland Waterways vessels.

These additions to IRClass’s project portfolio demonstrate the classification society’s competence and capability in handling large scale and technically challenging projects. 

Commitment towards Information Security

The ISO 27001:2013 certification awarded to IRClass for its Information Security Management System from the British Standards Institution (BSI), underscores the classification society’s commitment towards risk management. It inspires confidence in IRClass’s level of data protection, assuring customers that their information is well-protected.

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Britannia Member Survey Reveals 97% are Proud to be Members

Britannia’s first online Member Survey has been published, with 97% of the Members taking part being proud to be a Member of the Club.

Overall 70% felt Britannia’s core values could be summed up with the words ‘trusted’ and ‘mutual’, with the Club’s main strengths listed as ‘financially secure’ ‘excellent claims service’ and ‘valued relationships with Members’.

An impressive 100% of Members that took part in the survey felt valued as a Member of Britannia, which is testament to the strong service delivery and sound financial status (echoed by the Club recently having its rating ‘A’ (stable) re-affirmed by S&P Global Ratings).

The survey also highlighted areas that could be improved, including streamlining access to claims records, transaction history and financial documents. The Club is already underway with implementing solutions to improve these areas by developing more efficient systems and processes as part of the on-going IT upgrade.

A more detailed look into specific departments revealed that the Claims Reimbursements section had a 94% satisfaction rating when Members were asked if their reimbursements were received either on or ahead of expectations.

Other response times to general requests within Claims were either within or exceeded expectations. However, 15% of respondents felt that sometimes the Club could react more quickly to a request. So, although the result is very positive, the Club is reviewing its processes to identify where it can improve on its speed of service.

Regarding the Underwriting department, 95% of survey respondents felt that the Underwriters’ approach is fair with 91% satisfied that they received a responsive solution. An impressive 95% felt that vessel documentation from the department was always accurate.

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Columbia Takes Optimisation To The Next Level With Opening Of Its Performance Optimisation Control Room

Columbia Shipmanagement formally opened its high-tech Performance Optimisation Control Room on Friday 14 December in Cyprus. The opening ceremony was attended by Ms Natasa Pilides, Deputy Minister of Shipping, Republic of Cyprus.

The focus of the Control Room is on Performance Optimisation. When full functionality roll-out is complete, the Control Room will be manned 24/7 by qualified personnel who will optimise vessel safety, crew rotation and training, performance (speed, consumption, delay, weather routing), disaster avoidance, maintenance (including preventative maintenance through sensor and camera technology), and contractual compliance. Web-based, it can be easily uploaded to other Columbia offices and clients’ offices allowing remote monitoring.

Captain Pankaj Sharma, Manager of the Control Room, is a project management professional with years of experience managing control rooms. Mr Sharma commented: “Centralising our operations will give us the ability to better deal with fast-changing scenarios and developments as they happen. With 24/7/365 support, our goal is to have even faster decision-making and greater visibility by using modern technology to achieve cost-efficient vessel operations.”

The Control Room will be a management hub, seamlessly connecting to technical, marine, crew and commercial management departments and functions.

Columbia’s President Mark O’Neil in his opening address stated: “This project has been made possible through the excellent collaboration and support of our project partners Tototheo Maritime,” adding, “It is a visible and tangible example of how digitalisation and technology can be harnessed for optimisation of vessel operation and management. Not only will it make us more attractive to our clients and potential clients, it will also make our clients more attractive to the market through optimised operation. The Performance Optimisation Control Room demonstrates Columbia’s commitment to its clients and to the provision of a thoroughly modern, digitalised and optimised service.” 
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The Swedish Club Maintains Zero Per Cent General Increase

For the fourth year in succession The Swedish Club has announced a zero per cent general increase for the forthcoming P&I year.

The decision was made by the Club’s board in consideration of the general market view that premiums are not in proportion with expected claims outcome.

Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club says: “In a number of shipping sectors the market remains weak and we have a commitment to support members at this crucial point. Read more

Indian Register of Shipping wins two prestigious awards at separate ceremonies

Leading classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), won ‘Classification Society of the Year’ award at the Samudra Manthan Awards ceremony on 5 December, and on another occasion, the ‘Indywood Excellence Award for Professional Achievement – Class Compliance’ was bestowed upon Mr. Suresh Sinha, Managing Director of IRClass, recognising his efforts towards the development of the classification society landscape within the maritime sector.

The Indywood Excellence Awards 2018 (Marine / Offshore / Oil & Gas) were held at HITEX Exhibition Centre in Hyderabad on 2nd December, and this year’s Samudra Manthan Awards took place on 5th December at Sahara Star in Mumbai, India.

This marks the second occasion the classification society has been named the classification society of the year – where this year, the criterion for selection included digitalisation initiatives, cyber security, maritime research and industry projects.

Mr. Sinha said: “I am humbled to be bestowed with the Indywood Excellence Award, but the real winner is the team of committed and dedicated employees of IRClass globally; who have been instrumental in expanding the classification society within the marine and oil & gas sectors. I would like to congratulate each one of them for the hard work.”

He added: “This validates the work we have been doing for our valued clients and spurs us to further raise our service standards and to help the marine as well as oil & gas industries to cope with the new dynamics of the digital ecosystem in a changing shipping landscape.”

Tindall Riley to sell its Carina Fixed P&I Product to The MECO Group

Following a strategic review of its operations, Tindall Riley (TR) has agreed to sell Carina, its fixed premium P&I Managing General Agent (MGA), to The MECO Group for an undisclosed sum. Set up by TR in 2012, Carina is a successful and well managed specialised fixed premium P&I provider.

The terms of sale are agreed, but the transfer will only complete once all the regulatory and underwriting approvals have been received, which is scheduled before the end of 2018.

The focus of the parties has been on ensuring a seamless transfer, based on a ‘business as usual’ approach, under which the current Carina team will transfer across to MECO and continue to run Carina as part of the MECO Group. They will continue to offer clients the same first-class service and transactional efficiency in their new home.

From the date of transfer, Carina will become a MECO brand and MECO will assume TR’s role as the MGA that owns and operates Carina. MECO will take over all TR’s responsibilities as Managers of Carina and the existing Carina team will relocate to MECO’s London office. With effect from the date of transfer, MECO will take sole responsibility for current policies and all prior years.

The underlying security of Carina, as a Lloyd’s based product, will remain unchanged.

Commenting on the transaction Simon Scriven, Chairman of TR said:

“Carina has performed well in a challenging cycle, the decision to sell was not an easy one, but we concluded that despite its success, operating Carina as an MGA was not in-line with our key strategic objectives as one of the leading mutual management operations. We chose MECO Group as the new home for the Carina team because it is the oldest and most well-respected marine MGA in London.” 

Christopher Else, CEO of the MECO Group commented as follows:

“The acquisition of Carina represents a big step in the development of the MECO Group. Carina is a strong brand managed by an experienced and professional team that will fit well within the MECO Group. The last few years have been challenging in the marine insurance industry, but all our brands have been profitable during turbulent times and in a fast-changing market, the opportunities for expansion are genuinely exciting. The acquisition of Carina is just one example of how the MECO Group is well placed to grow in the current climate.”

Thome’s Chairman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Olav Eek Thorstensen, Executive Chairman of the Thome Group, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tanker Shipping and Trade’s annual conference held in London on 20-21 November.

Looking back over his 50 years in the maritime industry, Mr Eek Thorstensen recalled the early days of third party ship management and how he realised that Thome could offer more efficient services to owners trading vessels in the Far East. So began Thome’s growth in that sector which continues to this day.

He also paid tribute to his staff recognising that the success of the Thome Group is not down to just one person and that every employee has contributed with dedication and hard work.

Looking to the future he predicted that, within the next 10 years, there would be fundamental changes in the structure of ship owning with an increase in vessels being owned by asset management companies which bodes well for third party ship managers as their expertise will be required to run these fleets.

In conclusion, he stated that he cherishes all his memories of working in such a dynamic industry and thanked the organisers for recognising him in this way.

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KVH Videotel Announces Promotion of Raal Harris to Managing Director

KVH Videotel, a market-leading provider of training films, computer-based training, and eLearning for the maritime industry, announced today that Raal Harris has been named managing director. In his new role, Mr. Harris is responsible for the overall business, including creative production, content and licensing, product development, and sales. Based in KVH Videotel’s London office, Mr. Harris has extensive experience in the commercial maritime industry and is actively involved with numerous seafarer welfare organizations, ship management associations, and international shipping entities.

Previously, Mr. Harris held the title of creative content director for KVH Videotel and was responsible for production and development of eLearning materials and digital media strategy. He championed a creative approach to enhance product interactivity and user experience and spearheaded various projects to increase Videotel’s web presence and to deliver training online and on mobile devices.

Mr. Harris’s background includes university lectureships in interaction design, information product design, and computer games design, which gave him invaluable experience in structuring and designing learning material and evaluating learner performance.

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KVH Announces Two Key Leadership Positions for the Global Company

The promotions leverage business and maritime industry experience within the tech innovation company

MIDDLETOWN, RI – November 15, 2018 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), a leader in global mobile connectivity and inertial navigation solutions, today announced that Brent Bruun has expanded his responsibilities as chief operating officer, and Mark Woodhead has been named executive vice president of mobile connectivity. The promotions leverage the business and maritime industry experience of the two leaders.

In his role as chief operating officer, Mr. Bruun will now spearhead corporate business development; oversee all operational and financial aspects of KVH’s mobile connectivity and inertial navigation businesses; lead financial planning and analysis; foster investor relations; and work toward organizational excellence across the global company.
Mr. Bruun joined KVH in early 2008 and served as executive vice president of the mobile broadband group, the company’s largest business unit. Prior to joining KVH, Mr. Bruun was senior vice president with satellite operator SES Americom, and gained his strong corporate financial background from positions held with GE Capital and KPMG earlier in his career.

“I look forward to accelerating growth for KVH as we continue to strengthen our leadership market share with our mobile connectivity products and services, particularly in maritime VSAT, and increase the demand for our inertial solutions in the fast growing autonomous markets,” says Mr. Bruun, who is based in KVH’s global headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island.

In Mr. Woodhead’s new role as executive vice president of mobile connectivity, he takes on leadership for EMEA, Asia, and Americas commercial sales; global leisure sales; KVH VideotelTM and KVH Media Group; global sales operations; and product line management. Mr. Woodhead previously served as KVH’s senior vice president, EMEA, overseeing mobile connectivity sales activities in the region and also overseeing KVH Videotel on a global basis. Mr. Woodhead has a strong background in sales and the commercial maritime industry, having focused on these areas for more than 20 years; he is based in KVH’s Leeds, U.K., office.

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ICS Chairman Calls for Comprehensive Revision of STCW Seafarer Training Regime

Speaking in Manila, the Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson, has called for a comprehensive revision of the IMO STCW Convention which governs global standards for the training and certification of around two million merchant seafarers.

STCW was reviewed in 2010 with the adoption of the ‘Manila amendments’ but the previous major overhaul of the STCW regime was last undertaken by IMO Member States over 25 years ago.

Mr Poulsson said “It’s now commonplace for employers to routinely provide additional training and assessments prior to the deployment of many officers holding STCW certification which raises questions as to whether the Convention as currently drafted is still fit for purpose in the 21st Century.” Read more

Indian Register of Shipping plays central role at INMARCO

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) continues to play a central role at the International Maritime Conference and Exhibition (INMARCO) which is held every four years.

Organised by the Institute of Marine Engineers (India), this year’s INMARCO will see a packed programme of technical discussions and panel debates covering a wide spectrum of topics including maritime safety, environment, technology and security to oceanography and underwater technology.

A Platinum sponsor, IRClass will be providing three expert speakers who will be giving talks on the following areas:

The key to successful maritime cyber risk assessment by Mr. R. Srinivas, (Principal Surveyor)

Best practise in Ballast Water Management by Mr. Devrup Kabi, (Principal Surveyor)

Understanding hybrid power systems by Mr. S. Mutharasu, (Senior Surveyor).

The Conference is being organised from 1st to 3rd November 2018 at the LaLiT hotel in Mumbai and will be graced by Ministry of Shipping and maritime administration officials as well as senior industry representatives from across the maritime spectrum globally. Further information can be found on the INMARCO 2018 website.

“IRClass has always been a huge supporter of INMARCO and we’re proud to be providing the conference with experts from differing fields within the maritime sector giving talks on relevant industry issues” said Mr. Arun Sharma, Executive Chairman.

Mr. Vijay Arora, Joint Managing Director of IRClass added: “The conference and exhibition are well-attended, and the panel debates are always very interesting and stimulating, challenging the industry norms.”

KVH Introduces World’s Fastest, Lightest, Ultra-compact Ku-band Marine VSAT Antenna

The TracPhone V3-HTS is a breakthrough antenna for providing connectivity at sea, with faster data speeds than larger marine satellite antennas

MIDDLETOWN, RI – Oct. 31, 2018 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), today unveils the TracPhone® V3-HTS, the world’s fastest, lightest, ultra-compact Ku-band marine VSAT antenna, at the Fort Lauderdale (FL) International Boat Show. Measuring just 37 cm (14.5 inches) diameter and weighing 11 kg (25 lbs.), the TracPhone V3-HTS is smaller in physical size than any other Ku-band marine satellite communications antenna on the market and is designed to provide faster data speeds (5 Mbps download/2 Mbps upload) than larger marine satellite antennas.

The TracPhone V3-HTS’s fast data speeds, combined with its diminutive size, make Internet connectivity and HD-quality streaming available aboard smaller powerboats and sailboats along with commercial vessels, such as workboats and offshore fishing boats, that do not have room for a larger satellite communications antenna.

KVH designed and engineered the TracPhone V3-HTS specifically for KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadbandsm HTS network. This advanced maritime network offers unmatched speed and coverage using new next-generation high-throughput satellites (HTS) from Intelsat’s global network with additional satellite capacity from SKY Perfect JSAT, all of which is fully integrated under the IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime platform. KVH is the maritime VSAT market share leader by fielded units, according to an independent industry report by Euroconsult.

“KVH’s HTS network changes the game for communications on boats,” says Todd Tally, general manager of Atlantic Marine Electronics, a leading marine systems installer based in Fort Lauderdale. “Incredibly fast, robust, and reliable, this service and the TracPhone HTS antennas allow our customers to enjoy Internet connections, streaming movies and TV, voice calls, video chats, and more.”

The TracPhone V3-HTS is the second HTS antenna design from KVH, which introduced the 60 cm diameter Ku-band TracPhone V7-HTS last year. During the development of both antennas, KVH worked closely with satellite operator Intelsat, which recently upgraded its IntelsatOne Flex platform to support smaller antennas, in anticipation of the release of KVH’s 37 cm terminal. IntelsatOne Flex is a managed service that offers multi-layered global coverage by leveraging Intelsat EpicNG high-throughput satellites (HTS) and select wide beams. The TracPhone V3-HTS is manufactured by KVH at its headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island.

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