The Department of Defence has announced a $1.96 billion investment in its communications arsenal and facilities, enlisting the assistance of partner Babcock.
Part of UK-based Babcock International, the defence and security company has been tasked with equipping the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with an enhanced high-frequency communications system.
Meanwhile, Defence also intends to upgrade its communications equipment and facilities across Australia, as well as build a new communication site near Darwin and establish a software development centre in Adelaide.
Announcing the pre-budget measures, Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said Australia will now use the “latest advances in command and control methods over the coming decades”.
“In partnership with Babcock, Defence will grow and strengthen Australian industry’s high-frequency communications capacity, further developing workforce skills, knowledge and expertise that are central to delivering this leading-edge capability,” Minister Conroy added.
“This will complement Defence’s investment in secure and resilient satellite communications to support our soldiers, sailors and aviators on operations at home and abroad.
Last year, Babcock was selected as a preferred tenderer to upgrade and sustain the Defence High-Frequency Communication System (DHFCS) over the next decade.
In May, it also launched a tender for a partner to provide cloud services for IT environments at the ‘secret’ security classification level.
Although Defence is already using public cloud services at the official and protected classifications, it is looking to improve on this further through several tranches to establish multi-vendor secret cloud capabilities hosted in Australia.