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@AVNHQ Business Bulletin, 20 April 2021

By Leo D’Angelo Fisher

Top stories:

Virtual satellite operations centre enables ADF to control satellite use Saab deal boosts local defence industry capability Indigenous company to reap benefits of NSW missile assembly project

Virtual satellite operations centre enables ADF to control satellite use

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and British mobile satellite communications group Inmarsat have signed a $221 million contract extension for the provision of commercial satellite communications airtime services and managed hardware.

Inmarsat has supported ADF satellite communications requirements at home and overseas for over 30 years. The contract extension will run to 2027.

The overall commitment of the contract for satellite services is now $331 million over 10-years, including options for three extensions of two years each.

The partnership between the ADF and Inmarsat has evolved to encompass a full managed service covering hardware, software, support, training and leasing services.

The contract includes access to the Operational Monitoring and Control System, which serves as a virtual satellite operations centre, allowing the ADF to independently allocate resources, track usage and implement operational changes in real time.

Todd McDonell, president, global government, at Inmarsat, says the ADF is known internationally for its “capability, reliability and the ability to get the job done regardless of the challenges encountered”.

“Inmarsat’s services supporting the ADF across the Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force can be relied on at any latitude, longitude and altitude,” Mr McDonell says.


Saab deal boosts local defence industry capability

Saab has selected Nowra, NSW-based Global Defence Solutions (GDS) as its Australian industry partner to manufacture its mobile camouflage systems (MCS) and multispectral camouflage screens.

Saab Australia managing director Andy Keough says the partnership with GDS will create local capability and new opportunities for Australian industry.

“Australian industrial involvement is critical to the success of our sovereign defence industry,” Mr Keough says.

Saab’s MCS has been in operation and continual development for over 25 years and is combat-proven with multiple successful deployments, including to Afghanistan and Mali. Enabling increased operational capabilities, including survivability and force protection, Saab’s MCS reduces the signature of military vehicles across the electro-magnetic spectrum using a combination of advanced materials.

“Our partnership will provide Australia with a true sovereign capability to produce, integrate and install signature reduction systems onto combat vehicles,” says GDS managing director Laurie Koster.

The partnership builds on Saab’s existing relationship with GDS: Saab selected GDS as its preferred soft-shelter supplier for phase 3 of Australia’s JP2060 Deployable Health Capability program in December 2020. GDS will join Saab and its partners Aspen Medical, Philips Healthcare, Broadspectrum and Marshall Land Systems to deliver and support deployable military and humanitarian hospitals for use in Australia and overseas.

Established in 1998, family-owned GDS provides deployable infrastructure to the Australian Defence Force, emergency services and international disaster relief.


Indigenous company to reap benefits of NSW missile assembly project

An Indigenous construction company, National Aboriginal Construction Partners (NACP) Projects, has been awarded the head contract to build a $23.9 million assembly and maintenance facility in NSW for one of Australia’s most successful defence exports.

Brisbane-based NACP Projects expects to employ 200 workers during construction of the decoy missile system assembly and maintenance facility at the Defence Establishment Orchard Hills defence base in western Sydney.

NACP Projects is committed to achieving 95% local industry participation for the supply of goods and services for the project. Work on the project is expected to finish in early 2022.

The project will provide administration, assembly, maintenance and storage facilities to support the Nulka decoy missile system.

Nulka is an electronic defence system for the protection of warships against anti-ship missiles. The system is deployed on more than 150 Australian, US and Canadian warships.

NACP Projects was procured under the Australian Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy which supports indigenous entrepreneurship and business development.


Leo D'Angelo Fisher is a regular columnist and Editor-at-Large at Australian Veteran News. Connect with him on Twitter: @DAngeloFisher.

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