Prestigious MCA contract awarded to Icom (UK)

Herne Bay based radio communication company, Icom (UK) Ltd has just won a prestigious contract with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to supply approximately 3,000 IC-M1EuroV VHF handportable radio transceivers.

This order marks a back to back contract award after Icom, at the turn of last year, had won the contract to supply the MCA's vehicle fleet with 50 IC-M59 Euro VHF mobile radio transceivers. The IC-M1EuroV is the very latest in a long list of quality marine products from Icom and is replacing the MCA's previous handheld as part of their standard replacement programme.

Described as being the world’s smallest waterproof marine VHF transceiver the IC-M1EuroV has been designed to withstand the most punishing of conditions. It also combines the very latest radio and battery technology with a wealth of features including a Lithium Ion Battery, waterproof microphone/accessory socket, ergonomic design and self-test facility. The IC-M1EuroV will be used by the coastguard to listen and communicate across a wide range of situations including cliff top rescue and beach searches.

The 5-year contract won by Icom is to supply radios, spare batteries, microphones and cases. The company, has also given a 3-year warranty covering all radios in the contract. The bidding process lasted two months and Icom were notified that they had won the contract on the 28th February 2000. Delivery of the first consignment of equipment will commence in April 2000.

The IC-M1EuroV had to meet some very tough criteria to meet HM Coastguard's strict standards. It had to be fully submersible and it was imperative that it would work in extreme conditions found during search and rescue operations. 10 IC-M1EuroV's have been on test with the Coastguard since December 1999. The IC-M1EuroV was tested in four different locations, each with different environments by HM Coastguard staff itself. All reports of the IC-M1EuroV's performance have, according to the Coastguard, been very favourable.

Icom (UK) Ltd demonstrated in its tender that it could offer the MCA a wide degree of flexibility. The MCA specified that they wanted an audio socket on the speaker microphone that would allow privacy in monitoring of search and rescue and this was subsequently developed especially for them. A custom case was also designed to fit the users utility belt, keeping the radio free from dirt and dust. The case's safety yellow will allow the radio to be easily retrieved in the dark. The battery technology was another reason why Icom was chosen. The sophisticated Lithium Ion Battery technology that provided an increased flexibility to the operator in the field.

The IC-M1Euro V is submersible and waterproof to 1 metre for at least 30 minutes, enough to cope with the harsh weather conditions encountered by any of today’s mariners. In addition, by including a waterproof microphone/accessory socket, the radio can be used whilst strapped safely to a belt or stowed in a pocket, leaving crewman's hands free to deal with other activities. The IC-M1Euro V is also the world's first marine handheld to use a Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) battery. This provides up to three times the operating time of a traditional Ni-Cd pack and can be recharged in any state without risk of 'memory effect'. This new battery can also be fully recharged in less time than before and allows its battery indicator to accurately show how much battery life remains. The IC-M1EuroV is environmentally friendly too! By avoiding the use of polluting Ni-Cd batteries and allowing the set to be charged only as and when needed, valuable resources are conserved and environmental waste minimised.

The IC-M1Euro V is very simple to use. The enlarged display includes a ten character, scrolling channel comment which users can program themselves. The display also shows the scan status and other conditions for added peace of mind. The keypad controls are clearly labelled and illuminated to ensure confident operation in all weather conditions, whilst their size and intuitive positioning allow use even wearing gloves!

The team who won the contract comprised Bob Stockley (Sales & Marketing Director) and his Marine Department that comprises Jeff Dixon (Marine Dealer Manager), Jon Brooks (Marine Product Specialist) and Vicky Doust (Sales Secretary). On winning the contract, Bob Stockley said,' I am absolutely delighted that the MCA have chosen Icom. I am looking forward to working with the MCA and supporting them over the next five years.' He further added about the IC-M1EuroV,' Once again Icom have delivered, despite the increased competition in this market sector from other manufacturers this year, Icom have once again set the benchmark with the IC-M1EuroV.

Richard Wootten, Technical Manager (Telecomms) at the MCA said, 'We chose Icom because they provided the most cost-effective solution for our needs. The IC-M1EuroV was chosen because it met our strict requirements.'

Icom UK Marketing: marketing@icomuk.co.uk

06/11/2000

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