Under the $650 million contract for the ADF’s Project Currawong, Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) achieved initial material release (IMR) for the transit case version of its networked communications solution. The cutting-edge system will allow for the transfer of secure wideband voice, data and video services over wireless and wired infrastructure between Australia’s land-based deployed forces and headquarters.
BDA vice president and managing director Darren Edwards said the initial delivery ahead of schedule to Australia proved Boeing’s ability and agility in supporting the Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force.
"Boeing’s success in creating the hardware and software that meets Australia’s battlespace communications needs within a complex fixed price development program is testament to our partnership with our customer as well as our growing Australian supply chain supporting this important capability," said Edwards.
"Together, we’ve designed, built, tested and manufactured an Australian-made, highly scalable and agile networking solution to ensure Australia gets exactly what it needs: a communications solution matched to operate in an ever-evolving threat environment."
Boeing has provided Defence personnel from 7th Combat Signal Regiment and 1 Signal Regiment based at Enoggera Barracks and 1 Combat Communications Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley with training and equipment deliveries to use the system ahead of Exercise Hamel in 2018.
This first tranche of the equipment delivered includes 18 deployable communication nodes and an Australian fixed strategic communications anchor site. This incorporates Boeing’s core communication system components, the network access module (NAM) and mission system management (MSM), which connect and manage the communication bearers and services Boeing and its partners are bringing to the program.
Boeing will also design a vehicle mounted version of the solution in parallel with the ongoing rollout of the transit case version to additional Army and Air Force units.
Defence Minister Marise Payne said achieving IMR ahead of schedule represented the level of dedication by Defence and BDA in securing next generation communication technology for ADF personnel.
"The delivery of this cutting-edge technology which will transform the way our military communicates in the field is great news for Defence," Minister Payne said.
"Modern and secure communications networks are critical to the ADF’s warfighting capability and with this new range of technology the ADF will enjoy the latest in protected wired and wireless communication services."
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne also congratulated the team and praised the work that has gone in to helping deliver a modernised land network communication system.
"This project is continuing to modernise land network communication through the provision of a modern and integrated battlespace telecommunications network," Minister Pyne said.
"BDA has more than 2,000 employees located at 26 sites around Australia, with three international sites. It supports some of the largest and most complex defence projects in Australia, I am pleased to see this capability reach IMR ahead of schedule."
Defence said the project has so far resulted in more than 200 Australian jobs since the project was established in 2015.