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Australia investing A$600m in fleet wide communication systems upgrade

Navy ships in Sydney
Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Australian government plans to invest A$600 million in a new fleet information environment that will boost the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime communications capability.

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

As outlined, 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 out to 2040.

A deployed network integration center will be established in Canberra where Australian companies will be able to work in a collaborative environment with defense on testing their products for future upgrades.

The first stage of the upgrades to Navy platforms will start in 2021 with HMAS Leeuwin in regional Far North Queensland.

Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, said the upgrades were part of the government’s economic recovery plan which is creating jobs while delivering Navy with vital capability.

“These upgrades will provide our sailors with faster, more capable and more secure computer based information systems which are all vital in ensuring our ADF can operate in contested, congested and degraded information environments,” Reynolds said.

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