A fleet of Australian defence aircraft will receive significant technology upgrades, in a $31 million deal.
Minister for Defence Personnel, Greg Combet, announced that the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), BAE Systems Australia and Australian Aerospace have signed a contract to provide a range of enhancements to the AP-3C Orion aircraft and associated ground support systems.
The aircraft will be upgraded with enhanced Electro-optics and infrared systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, providing off-board data links through a tactical common data link communication system. On-board data handling capabilities will also be improved through a new mission data recorder, and a Local Area Network (LAN).
A defence spokesperson said the communication system will be a leading edge STANAG 4609 / 7085 compliant Tactical Common Data Link and the networking will be provided by a Gigabit LAN running at 802.3 IEEE Standard.
“The upgraded system, which will build on earlier interim designs installed to support operations in the Middle East Area of Operations, will enter service in 2011 and will remain operational until the AP-3C is withdrawn from service," the spokesperson said.
The contract will create 50 additional technical jobs which will include software engineers, technicians, and project management roles.