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BAE Systems wins A$30M deal for Navy satellite communications upgrade

BAE Systems Australia has won a four-year, $30 million deal to upgrade satellite communication terminals for the Australian Navy. The upgrade will be undertaken at BAE Systems facilities at Edinburgh Parks in South Australia and North Ryde in Sydney and will result in the creation of up to 20 new jobs.

The upgrade is an extension to BAE Systems Australia’s existing Maritime element of the Advanced SATCOM Terrestrial Infrastructure System, or MASTIS, support contract. The upgrade is expected to deliver a substantial increase in ship data capability as well as aircraft and land-based platforms, even under heavy interference.

The MASTIS terminals are equipped with two antennas capable of transmitting and receiving in X and Ka-bands simultaneously and are able to connect to two different satellites at the same time.

MASTIS terminals were designed, developed and delivered by BAE Systems and entered service in 2005. The upgrade will see BAE Systems working with AIRBUS Defence and Space, which supplied a significant portion of the original terminals.

UNIS TO GET NEW DEFENCE FUNDING: Meanwhile, minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne has announced 22 Australian universities will share $5.7 million in project funding to develop new defence capabilities. The funding was allocated under the $730 million Next Generation Technologies Fund aimed at engaging industry and academia to research priority areas identified in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement. Funding areas include cyber security, advanced sensors, quantum technologies, and space capabilities.

“The Next Generation Technologies Fund allows us to draw on the expertise in Australian universities to initiate research into emerging technologies of interest to Defence,” Pyne said. He added that 59 successful projects had been chosen to date and each will receive an average of $100,000 to fund their proposals and delivery over the next 12 months. Geoff Long, Commsday