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Babcock Australia, a subsidiary of Babcock International, has secured a $550.86m (A$877m) contract to strengthen the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) high-frequency (HF) communications capability.   

Under the ten-year agreement, the company will work on modernising the ADF’s Defence HF communications system.

The firm will also handle operations and support the existing HF capability.

The enhanced communications system is intended to support ADF personnel in their regional and overseas missions.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said the government plans to commit $1.23bn (A$1.96bn) to upgrade communications equipment and facilities in the country.

The government also plans to construct a communication site near Darwin, and a software development centre in Adelaide.

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By GlobalData

Conroy said: “In partnership with Babcock, defence will grow and strengthen [the] Australian industry’s high-frequency communications capacity, further developing workforce skills, knowledge, and expertise that are central to delivering this leading-edge capability.

“This will complement defence’s investment in secure and resilient satellite communications to support our soldiers, sailors, and aviators on operations at home and abroad.

“Australia and our international partners will use these latest advances in command-and-control methods over the coming decades.”

In July this year, Australia chose Babcock as its preferred partner in this regard.

Under the JP9101 – Enhanced Defence High Frequency Communications System programme, Babcock will start delivering the new systems to the Australian and allied forces.

The systems, whose delivery is scheduled to start from October next year, will enable the armed forces to safely communicate using voice and other data from any location worldwide.

Lockheed Martin Australia will serve as Babcock’s principal partner to support the delivery of the system’s elements.

The programme will also involve key participation by the local industry.