Hawkeye III VSAT terminal

L-3 Communications has secured a contract to produce and deliver Hawkeye III Lite 1.2m very small aperture terminals (VSATs) and related support services to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Valued at $38.5m, the contract is managed by L-3’s Australian division, L-3 Oceania, and covers supply of 51 Hawkeye III Lite VSATs, along with training and long-term sustainment services by L-3 Global Communications Solutions (GCS).

The contract represents one of several coordinated projects that will enable the ADF to deploy an integrated wideband satellite communications (SATCOM) capability.

More specifically, the L-3 GCS will provide one type of a family of transportable land terminals that will optimise the early use of Australia’s SATCOM system, and also deliver communication services where there is limited availability of commercial satellite resources.

L-3 Microwave group president John Mega said: "Australia is an emerging market for WGS-qualified terminals and we look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with the ADF and other local suppliers."

"Australia is an emerging market for WGS-qualified terminals."

Featuring a light-weight two or three case design, Hawkeye III Lite 1.2m system is designed to provide high-data rate communications of 2-5mbps for remote internet/VPN, live videoconferencing, surveillance or reconnaissance missions.

Rapidly deployable using the auto-acquire antenna system, ViewSat GUI, and the GCS universal outdoor unit (ODU), the MIL-STD-810F tested system also offer the Army Strategic Forces Command (ARSTRAT) certified Ka and X-band, as well as commercial Ku-band capabilities in a compact, fly-away package.

Contract deliveries are scheduled to be complete in 2014, and will be followed by an initial three-year sustainment programme featuring other Australian subcontractors.

Image: US military personnel set up a Hawkeye III VSAT terminal at Yokota Air Base in Japan. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force, by Osakabe Yasuo/Released.

Defence Technology