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Australia increases satellite spending

satellite communication terminal
Australian Defence Force personnel are shown a medium satellite communication terminal during a VIP day at Damascus Barracks in Brisbane

After Defence extended its C1 satellite partnership with Optus in June, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has gone to tender for a new satellite equipment and services provider.

The request for tender states four categories of services and equipment are being sought by DFAT (core satellite equipment; core satellite equipment – modified; core technical services; and "value-added services") under a three-year contract, with potential for a fourth year extension.

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An industry briefing will be held on 18 September with applications closing 10 October. A decision is expected by January 2018.

The Department of Defence extended its satellite partnership with Optus for 10 years under a $40 million deal. Optus has provided satellite communication services to Defence through the Optus C1 satellite and on-board Defence Payload System since 2003.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the satellite partnership will improve capacity for Australian Defence Force users.

"Optus will reconfigure the C1 satellite to operate in an inclined orbit to reduce on‑board fuel usage and extend the life of the satellite as far as 2027. The existing agreement with Optus was due to expire in 2020 coinciding with the satellite’s anticipated end-of-life," Minister Payne said.

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The total cost of the contract includes the necessary preparation of ground infrastructure within Optus facilities at Belrose, NSW and Lockridge, Western Australia, as well as operating and sustainment costs associated with continued use of Optus C1.

The Optus C1 is the Australian hotbird with 24 commercial Ku-band transponders operating in beams covering Australia, New Zealand, the nearby offshore islands, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii and south-east Asia.

 

 

Australia increases satellite spending
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