Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced today that Defence has signed a contract that will provide Australian soldiers with a back-pack electronic surveillance system.
Mr Pyne said the acquisition contract signed with Victorian company Chemring Australia is valued at $18 million and will supply up to 50 back-pack electronic surveillance systems to be delivered during the first 18 months of the contract.
“These new back-pack based systems will detect, identify and determine the direction of communication signals in the field and provide that information to other electronic warfare command units,” Minister Pyne said.
“This replacement of an obsolete system as part of a wider Army electronic warfare capability upgrade will significantly improve the Army’s situational awareness in the field.
“The state of the art system will enable soldiers in the field to perform electronic surveillance operations and network with other Australian Defence Force electronic warfare capabilities.
“The system use the assault back-packs designed by Army’s innovative Diggerworks. The transport and storage systems for the new back-pack systems will be provided by Victorian company Trimcast Pty Ltd.”
Mr Pyne said Chemring Australia will assemble the electronic surveillance back-pack system in their facilities in Victoria, using this opportunity to grow their skills in electronic warfare through the development and support of the capability.
“When all systems are delivered, approximately one million dollars will be spent locally on sustainment activities per year, with around fifty per cent of the $28 million total life-time program cost being spent in Australia,” Minister Pyne said.