$600 million for secure Navy comms project

The Royal Australian Navy will strengthen its maritime communications by investing more than $600 million in a new Fleet Information Environment.

FILE PHOTO (October 2019): A ScanEagle remotely piloted aircraft is launched by pneumatic catapult from the flight deck of HMAS Leeuwin during first-of-class flight trials in real-world conditions on the ship’s current Asian deployment. Photo by Lieutenant Michael Azoury.

This will include upgrades to naval systems and computer networks, enhancing its ability to securely and reliably exchange information while at sea.

More than 100 new Australian high-tech jobs will be created through this investment in areas such as computer systems design and engineering, and platform and system integration.

Meanwhile, a further $100 million will be invested in additional infrastructure work in Darwin, Cairns, Rockingham, Canberra and Sydney.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the upgrades would provide our sailors with faster, more capable and more secure computer-based information systems, which were vital in ensuring our ADF can operate in contested, congested and degraded information environments.

“Decision superiority in the maritime domain is essential for Defence’s ability to conduct operations,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Deploying ships to sea presents unique information-management challenges and requires computer networks that are designed to remain effective even in low bandwidth or congested communications environments.

“This project will provide greater levels of cyber security and operational efficiency which are crucial for Navy operations now and into the future.”

The project will deliver new software and hardware, based on a design which allows the system to be continuously updated and upgraded with the latest available technology.

A Deployed Network Integration Centre will be established in Canberra where Australian companies will be able to work in a collaborative environment with Defence on testing their products for future upgrades.

The first stage of the upgrades to Navy platforms will commence next year with survey ship HMAS Leeuwin.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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