The Department of Defence has put partners on alert for its previously announced $600-million upgrade of the Royal Australian Navy’s IT infrastructure.
The agency has issued its first invitation to the IT community to form part of a new panel supplying hardware and software for its ships’ and submarines’ computer networks.
Chosen providers will be tasked with modernising the Navy’s 10-year-old Fleet Information Environment (FIE), which supports both deployed operations and ‘day-to-day’ activities and allows communication between vessels.
The system will include a number of IT “enclaves” that range from secret, protected, official and coalition classification levels, which will be installed across Navy’s fleet.
According to a request for expression of interest, the environment will include a support system capable of providing “continuous improvement” of the Navy’s IT capability plus sea and cyber-worthiness.
Instead of a “lengthy service-level” design, the IT architecture is required to be built as a modular design that “compartmentalises” it into discrete blocks of services and components, the request for expression of interest (REOI) revealed.
“This enables more rapid adoption of changes while ensuring design documentation is available to support rigorous change management processes,” the document stated.
This modular architecture will be divided into nine services spanning: infrastructure, platform .management, directory, database, business applications, messaging and collaboration, end-user and security.
In addition, successful providers will be required to connect the fleet to shore-based environments.
The REOI comes eight months after then Defence Mister, Christopher Pyne, announced the project, claiming it would create more than 100 jobs and "numerous opportunities for Australian small and medium sized businesses".
“It’s fundamental to Navy’s ability to operate the fleet day-to-day, including participating in operations with allied nations,” he said at the time.
In October, Defence released an REOI to begin an upgrade of the Australian Defence Force’s IT networks across the global outposts of the Navy, Army and Air Force.