Northrop Grumman, Vocus, Inmarsat, L3 Harris, AECOM, Blacktree Technologies and EM Solutions have teamed up to bid for the Australian Defence Force’s lucrative Satellite Communication System project, JP9102.
The consortium will draw on decades of collective experience to invest in and grow an Australian sovereign satellite communications capability, increase resiliency of military satellite communications for the future battlespace and create jobs across Australia.
“Building on proven experience, our team is developing an industry leading solution to support critical and complex missions for Australia’s next generation space programs,” Northrop Grumman Asia Pacific general manager Christine Zeitz said.
Northrop Grumman will integrate its high capacity and high mobility satellites through a flexible, scalable and agile growth architecture, and provide sustainment of the mission system including through the state-of-the-art Parallax Labs facility opened in Australia during 2021.
Combined with sovereign, on-demand access to the Inmarsat Global Express satellites, the Australian Defence Force will gain the capability to assign sovereign capacity and coverage immediately as the mission requires.
AECOM’s support will include designing satellite ground stations and satellite operations centres, while L3 Harris will manufacture Wombat terminals locally.
This will boost sovereign manufacturing and technical know-how for a sovereign satellite industry in Australia to create up to 100 additional jobs for supporting small to medium enterprises, Vocus said.
Blacktree Technologies will provide the High Mobility UHF ground segment to the solution offering, with Australian design and manufacturing company EM Solutions on board to offer certification services to the team.
Vocus will provide robust communications links, ensuring additional high reliability, secure and high performance connectivity beyond the Defence Terrestrial Communications Network (DTCN).
“Vocus’ national, secure, and sovereign fibre network puts us in an ideal position to provide connectivity to the Northrop Grumman team’s offer for JP9102,” Vocus CEO Kevin Russell said.
“Vocus has proven experience in delivering high-capacity, mission-critical connectivity to our Commonwealth and Defence industry partners with the most stringent security requirements, and we look forward to developing a solution for the Australian Defence Force’s Satellite Communication System project.”
The Australian Defence Force put out a request for tender in April last year seeking to build a sovereign satellite communications (SATCOM) component.
Other bidders in the mix include Team AUSSAT that includes Optus, Raytheon Australian and Thales Australia. Lockheed Martin Australia also formulated a team made up of Linfox, DXC, Conscia, Av-Comm, Calytrix Technologies, EM Solutions, Shoal Group, Clearbox Systems, STEM Punks, and Ronson Gears.
Another consortium features Boeing, Saber Astronautics, Clearbox Systems, Leidos, ViaSat, Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium (IDIC), and Titomic.