Iridium + Thales extend their communications partnership with IMOCA

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Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM) announced the International Association of Open Class Monohulls (IMOCA) extended their relationship by appointing Iridium and Thales as the organization’s official communications partners.

IMOCA skippers will continue to rely on Iridium Certus® as the primary means of satellite communication at sea, after years of successful racing and even vital communications.

From 2019, IMOCA skippers set sail with the new state-of-the-art SATCOM system, relying on Iridium Certus at several high-level yachting events that have attracted a global audience, including the prestigious Vendée Globe race. As official communication partners, Iridium and its partner Thales will continue to equip the IMOCA racing fleet with Iridium Certus satellite connectivity provided by the Thales VesseLINK700 Terminal.

The Iridium Certus powered Thales VesseLINK 700 aboard Alex Thomson Racing’s Hugo Boss Boat. © Eloi Stichelbaut – POLARYSE / IMOCA.

The Iridium® connectivity solution allows IMOCA skippers to easily communicate with their shore teams, send photos and SMS to friends and family, conduct interviews via Skype, Zoom or Microsoft TEAMS, and in the most extreme cases, to provide critical connectivity during rescue situations.

Thales VesseLINK ™ 700 terminal.

The continuation of our partnership with Iridium and Thales justifies the confidence of the skippers and the Class in this technology,” noted Antoine Mermod, President, IMOCA Class. “By combining the expertise of two companies, our boats are equipped with the closest level of land communication ever offered. The applications of the equipment on board an IMOCA sailboat participating in the Vendée Globe remain essential tests for any development; this combination of communication has definitely proven its worth.

We were already equipped with the Thales and Iridium system during the last Vendée Globe. This system has been proven around the world. The antenna and the network worked very well, even in hostile conditions and with our boats constantly on the move,” noted Kevin Escoffier, captain, PRB team. “In addition, the VesseLINK 700 is very efficient in terms of power consumption. I am very satisfied with the Iridium and Thales partnership with the IMOCA Class. Communication has become essential nowadays and this system meets our needs perfectly.. “

We are very happy to continue the unique partnership with the IMOCA Class. The use of our technology by the skippers is a precious guarantee of performance, coverage and reliability Iridium Certus and the offer of the Thales VesseLINK 700 terminal,” noted Wouter Deknopper, vice-president and general manager of maritime affairs at Iridium.



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