Electro Optic Systems has won a $34.4m contract award by the Commonwealth for the Command Control Communications and Computers – Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment (C4 EDGE) program, with EOS Defence Systems (EOS DS) as the prime contractor for an all-Australian-industry consortium to demonstrate a sovereign battlegroup-and-below battlefield-command system (BG-BCS).
FILE PHOTO: Australian Army Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles will be connected by the Army’s new C$ EDGE systems. Photo by Trooper Jonathan Goedhart.
A company spokesperson said this commitment by the government and the Australian Army would support the development of innovative local businesses capable of providing our armed forces with the critical, world-leading communications solutions they will require into the future.
“EOS DS will lead 18 Australian businesses in the C4 EDGE program to demonstrate local industry’s ability to provide battle-critical communications solutions for the land domain,” they said.
“The program will leverage the expertise and cutting-edge technologies of the all-Australian-industry team that includes small and medium enterprises from across the nation.
“As the prime contractor, EOS DS will integrate these components to demonstrate a sovereign BG-BCS for the Army in November 2021.
“The C4 EDGE solution will see EOS DS incorporate locally sourced combat radios, satellite terminals, cryptography, networking middleware, command applications, user interfaces, batteries and power management into a coherent system.
“This program will use Australian design, production, workforce, intellectual property and supply chain in the development and demonstration of this capability.”
“A successful C4 EDGE capability would help address the Army’s significant future requirements for sovereign communications systems.”
They said the government’s 2020 Defence Strategic Update laid out an investment pipeline for battlefield communications and command systems of between $5bn and $7.5bn over the next 20 years.
“EOS welcomes this opportunity to prime a complex project that incorporates highly capable local businesses into Australia’s defence industry – introducing industry best practices and advanced technologies from parallel sectors and supporting business diversification.
“EOS will also assist those companies new to the industry to understand and respond to Defence contracting accreditation requirements.”
The Commonwealth contract will create more than 50 new full-time jobs across the country over the next 12 months.
EOS said it would begin executing subcontracts before the end of 2020 to enable payments to flow to these businesses quickly, supporting their ability to invest, scale and access export opportunities.
CEO of EOS Defence Systems Grant Sanderson said the C4 EDGE team represented the collaborative effort of world-class Australian companies for the benefit of the Australian Defence Force.
“The design, development and demonstration of the C4 EDGE solution over the next year will showcase the ability of Australian companies to produce high-tech materiel, which EOS will integrate with its own technologies into world-class military systems.
“The program provides a model to continue growing a capable, connected and resilient sovereign defence industry that employs more Australians,” Mr Sanderson said.