Northrop and ViaSat to jointly deliver SATCOM capabilities to ADF


Northrop Grumman has selected ViaSat to deliver its next-generation satellite communications (SATCOM) network to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

ViaSat was selected as part of a contract awarded by ADF's Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group to Northrop Grumman Australia in May 2017.

It is tasked with providing ground stations and dual-band Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite earth terminals to ADF, as part of the Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B2 Satellite Ground Station - East Facilities Project.

The project seeks to deploy an integrated wideband SATCOM system for the ADF.

As part of the 5B2 project, Northrop and ViaSat will work together to deliver a satellite ground station at the Kapooka Military Area in New South Wales, as well as a wideband SATCOM network management system to support home station and deployed forces.

"Since 2012, ViaSat has been working as the prime contractor for the NBN satellite service ground system, which is a very similar system to that required by the ADF."

Northrop Grumman Australia chief executive Ian Irving said: "In working with ViaSat and others on the 5B2 Program, we will provide the ADF a comprehensive, mature, proven solution for taking full advantage of Australia's investment in the WGS system with expandability to meet future needs.”

ViaSat has been delivering SATCOM equipment globally, to customers in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

It recently delivered a number of complete ground stations for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) programme.

ViaSat Australia Government and Defence general manager Colin Cooper said: "Since 2012, ViaSat has been working as the prime contractor for the NBN satellite service ground system, which is a very similar system to that required by the ADF.

"We have significant experience delivering large-scale satellite ground stations in remote regions of Australia. Our long history of operations in Australia also allows ViaSat to provide technical support, in-country spares and logistics, training, operations support, help desk services and maintenance over the life of the programme."

The WGS constellation is claimed to be a key military asset providing Australia, the US, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand with reliable and secure communications services worldwide 24/7.