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Aussie sovereign C4 SMEs secure Army contract for new defence industry co-operative model

Seventeen Australian companies have joined the C4 EDGE (Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment) Communications Program, to scope the demonstration of a sovereign land battlegroup and below communications environment for the Australian Army.

Seventeen Australian companies have joined the C4 EDGE (Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment) Communications Program, to scope the demonstration of a sovereign land battlegroup and below communications environment for the Australian Army.

The C4 EDGE program will leverage internationally agreed open standards to grow and demonstrate Australian C4 (command, control, communications and computers) industry capacity and ability to deliver a battlegroup and below C4 capability demonstration.

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Ultimately, by the end of 2021 the program will have delivered a proof of concept demonstration that shows the capability of Australian industry to further develop a protected, integrated and supportable sovereign system: one that delivers agile and resilient C2 functionality to meet the flexible, scalable and interoperability needs of a battlegroup operating independently or with partners.

At an event held in Canberra yesterday, ACT-based companies 1LM, Insitec, Kord Defence, Outlander Solutions, Penten, SkyKraft and Xtec, contracted under the nation-wide program comprised of 17 businesses, were officially welcomed to Team C4 EDGE by senator Zed Seselja (ACT) and EOS Defence Systems chief executive Grant Sanderson.

Sanderson said, “The C4 EDGE program is an innovative and creative initiative from the Australian government and Army that demonstrates their commitment to improved Australian industry engagement and opportunity. EOS feels very privileged to have the opportunity to lead this activity and help industry present their capabilities.”

Team members based in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, who were unable to participate in the event due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, will be officially welcomed during a series of locally-arranged events and announcements next week.

Joel Deans, CEO of 1LM, said, “We are excited and honoured to be a part of this tremendous initiative showcasing sovereign Australian defence capability. 1LM is proud to contribute its local domain knowledge and technical expertise to shape and manage the system design and engineering program.”

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1LM is a professional services company that supports government and defence industry to define, design and deliver major capital equipment and information technology projects.

The company supports all stages of the capability life cycle, from initial concept definition and needs analysis through to introduction into service. 1LM’s services include project/program management, technical and systems engineering, test and evaluation, cost analysis, enterprise and solution architecture, procurement and contracting, and materiel logistics.

Peter Moran, CEO of Kord Defence, added, “It is both an honour and a privilege to be working with so many innovative Australian companies in developing a communications capability that is not only unique but developed in Australia for Australian soldiers. Kord’s push-button control technology will enable the soldier to simply and easily operate this new communications technology without being distracted or putting themselves in harm’s way; a small, but important contribution to the overall effort.”

Matthew Wilson, CEO of Penten, welcomed the collaboration and the innovation the model would bring to Australia’s defence industrial capability, saying, “There is a grand opportunity for Australia to build its own domestic industry and the C4 Edge program will prove it’s possible. Australia is well placed to grow a sovereign industrial base and create competitive advantage through digital resilience.

Here is an opportunity to use this momentum to steer Australia’s economic story. We are proud of what we are building as an industry. It’s possible that Australia can be the digital security leader in our region and be a reliable source of technology advantage to our allies, but first we need to be a customer of our own innovations.’’

C4 EDGE has also launched further collaboration with NSW-based GME. The company specialises in the design, development, prototype, test manufacturing, certification and support through the life of RF communication systems, including encrypted radios and emergency beacons using in-house Australian engineers, expertise and production line.

Warwick Clancy, CEO of GME, welcomed the collaboration, and the opportunities it presented, stating, "GME are very excited to participate in this once in a life time Australian industry opportunity. We are very proud to be a part of this team and are looking forward to delivering value to the Army in conjunction with other like-minded Australian organisations via EOS and the C4 EDGE program."

Ultimately, by the end of 2021 the program will have delivered a proof of concept demonstration that shows the capability of Australian industry to further develop a protected, integrated and supportable sovereign system: one that delivers agile and resilient C2 functionality to meet the flexible, scalable and interoperability needs of a battlegroup operating independently or with partners.

GME joins ACT partners 1LM, 3ME, Insitec, Kord Defence, Outlander Solutions, Penten, SkyKraft, and XTEC announced at in early-August in Canberra. 

Aussie sovereign C4 SMEs secure Army contract for new defence industry co-operative model
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