General Dynamics, in partnership with ADI and Tenix, has won a $97 million contract to design, develop and implement the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) digital communications system.
Defence Minister Robert Hill said the new communications systems would increase the efficiency and capacity of the army and land-based air force elements to share information on the battlefield.
The first phase of the three-stage $800 million project, won by General Dynamics, has been approved for $97 million and will focus on the development of the systems design and architecture for future procurements of communications equipment.
Senator Hill said the first phase of the project will provide enhanced voice and data communications capabilities and enhanced technology upgrades. "This project is a key component in the delivery of network-centric warfare to the land environment," he said.
"This project will deliver state of the art digital voice and data communication, including video and multimedia, as well as an upgrade plan to ensure that the ADF's equipment remains at the forefront of technology.
"Equipment will span most field-deployable units in both the army and air force and is likely to range from small, hand-held radios to larger, vehicle-mounted communications equipment."
General Dynamics has established a new company, General Dynamics Systems Australia (GDSA), as part of the ADF project and will progressively transfer management and engineering work from General Dynamics Canada to Australia.
"This will generate new jobs and further enhance the specialized skills needed in Australia's electronic systems sector," Senator Hill said.
"ADI and Tenix involvement will increase in later stages of the project to include delivery of training and logistics support."