Iridium®GMDSS Preparing for Launch

Rescue Coordination Centers (RCC)

Iridium GMDSS Equipment Type Approvals

Iridium SafetyCastSM MSI Broadcast

Iridium GMDSS Launch Updates

Bringing truly global GMDSS to you.

Iridium GMDSS will enhance your safety at sea, offering reliable coverage where no other options exist. Scroll below for the latest details on various product and service approvals from regulatory bodies around the world.

Please check back as we continue to update this page in advance of our highly-anticipated Iridium GMDSS commercial service introduction.

Rescue Coordination Centers

General Information

As the Iridium Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) rolls out, Iridium expects the number of operational RCCs will be increasing. Iridium will be regularly providing updates to mariners regarding the status of the RCCs connected to the Iridium GMDSS throughout the first year of operation. It is important to know that the addition of new RCCs and Iridium Connected® GMDSS terminals to the system will be done automatically as they come online As required under International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.1001 (25), a Recognised GMDSS Provider should be connected to at least one RCC. At launch, Iridium will be connected to five RCCs around the world, which is fully compliant with IMO regulations.

Users of the Iridium Connected GMDSS terminals should ensure that they regularly check with their equipment supplier. Information is also available on the Iridium GMDSS website to ensure that users are up to date on any additions to the system.

The map above shows the initial geographic areas of responsibility for the RCCs that have them. The dark blue represents the area for RCC Atlantic Area Command, the lighter blue is for RCC Pacific Area Command.

Rescue Coordination Center Mode Operational
RCC Atlantic Area Command
United States
Automatic X
RCC Pacific Area Command
United States
Automatic X
RCC Fareham
United Kingdom
Manual X
RCC Stavanger
Manual X
RCC New Zealand
New Zealand
Manual X
RCC Australia
Manual Expected 1/2021

NOTE: RCCs throughout the world are all connected and routinely communicate to support and assist each other in Search and Rescue operations. For example, emergency communications from all over the world are routinely dealt with by the USCG RCCs who then work with a local RCC to deploy search-and-rescue (SAR) assets, regardless of the distressed vessel’s location.

Automatic Mode - Iridium GMDSS equipment has the ability to select an RCC (for emergency communications) either automatically of manually. When in automatic mode the terminal will automatically select an RCC based on their geographic area of responsibility for the RCCs in the system.

Manual Mode - Some RCCs do not have a geographic area of responsibility. However, the user of the terminal can select any specific RCC (in the Iridium GMDSS) for the terminal to always communicate with (regardless of location of the terminal). So Manual mode will override the Automatic features of the terminal and will send emergency communications to the selected RCC by default. In the table below we list the initial RCCs that will be available for Manual Selection in the column title “Mode”.

Iridium GMDSS Equipment Type Approvals

Lars Thrane LT-3100S Approvals

SOLAS vessel owners and operators who want to use Iridium GMDSS to comply with their GMDSS requirements need to ensure that the Iridium Connected equipment they are planning to use is Type Approved by their Flag State. Below is a list of Flag States and their equipment authorization status for the Lars Thrane LT-3100S, the first Iridium Connected GMDSS terminal. We will regularly update this information as it becomes available, but vessel owners/operators should check with their Flag administration for the most up to date information, as we expect the number of Flag States approving this equipment to grow rapidly during the first year of operation.

For vessels that are not using Iridium GMDSS Equipment to comply with their SOLAS requirements (such as non-SOLAS vessels), Type Approval is not required.

Type Approved

  • Antigua & Barbuda*
  • Australia*
  • Belgium*
  • Bulgaria*
  • Canada
  • Croatia*
  • Cyprus*
  • Denmark*
  • Estonia*
  • Finland*
  • France*
  • Germany*
  • Greece*
  • Ireland*
  • Italy*
  • Latvia*
  • Liberia*
  • Lithuania*
  • Luxembourg*
  • Malta*
  • Marshall Islands
  • Netherlands*
    • Curacao*
  • New Zealand*
  • Norway*
  • Poland*
  • Portugal*
  • Romania*
  • Spain*
  • Sweden*
  • Switzerland*
  • United Kingdom*
    • Bermuda*
    • British Virgin Islands*
    • Cayman Islands*
    • Gibraltar*
    • Isle of Man*
  • United States

*MED approval for LT-3100S is expected to be completed in late 2020.


Lars Thrane LT-3100S

The Iridium Connected GMDSS device developed by Lars Thrane integrates distress alert, safety voice, and maritime safety information (MSI) at what is expected to be a fraction of the existing cost of competitive options, and it will be the first solution to offer truly global GMDSS services.

Iridium SafetyCastSM MSI Broadcast


Maritime Safety Information (MSI) is designed to keep mariners informed of dangerous conditions or circumstances that could endanger their safety. A global network of MSI providers regularly sends out MSI via NAVTEX (shore-based broadcast systems) and EGC (Enhanced Group Call, satellite-based broadcast systems) to assist mariners to avoid various dangers and stay aware of conditions. MSI comes in two main components:

  • Navigational Information – For example: failure of navigational lights or submerged obstruction in a shipping channel.
  • Meteorological Information – For example: regular weather forecasts and warning information (including notification of major weather events)

The Iridium EGC service is called Iridium SafetyCastSM and is a broadcast system that can send out MSI to vessels to the entire world, no matter where there are on the earth’s oceans. This is the first system to be able to do this and is free of charge to the vessel.

Other broadcast information that can be sent through the Iridium SafetyCast service includes the following:

  • Search and Rescue (RCCs)
  • Anti-Piracy
  • Ice Reports

With a valid connection, a mariner’s Iridium Connected GMDSS terminal will receive information for new areas once the associated MSI providers commence broadcasting. Below is the status of the connection for each provider (by NAVAREA or METAREA) to the Iridium GMDSS.


MetArea Map


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