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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Special Radios - Like "OnStar: for US Navy Ships

Reported here
The company started working on the concept about two and a half years ago, motivated by the terrorist bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, said company president Tom Hauke. The attack, which killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 more, would have been a tragedy under any circumstances.

But the situation was worsened by the fact that survivors could not immediately call for help because all shipboard communications were knocked out. They had to go to shore and use cell phones instead, Hauke said.

The new radios will solve that problem because they're battery-powered, Hauke said. They can operate off the self-contained battery for five to 10 hours, he said.

The radios can be used for a longer term with any kind of power outlet that is available, Hauke said. That includes U.S. and European outlets, plus the plugs in civilian and military vehicles, he said.

But perhaps even more important is that the radios will be foolproof to use, Hauke said. Basically, all a service member will have to do is open the radio's waterproof case, push a button and talk. They will be instantly connected to whatever military base the radio is programmed to communicate with.

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