Northrop Grumman Australia has secured an A$223m ($169.5m) contract to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with wideband satellite communications.

The contract requires the company to build and support a new satellite ground station in Kappoka, New South Wales, Australia.

This will be the next phase in the JP2008 Phase 5B2 project,  which is expected to enhance ADF's network-centric communications.

The satellite ground station will allow forces to be deployed across the Pacific and Indian Ocean region, connecting it with Australian Department of Defence’s (DoD) strategic information networks back in Australia.

It will operate in conjunction with a similar station in Western Australia to provide ADF personnel with wideband satellite communications, as well as improve survivability to meet future requirements.

The contract will also include the construction of an integrated network management system.

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Australia Defence Minister Marise Payne said: “The network management system will introduce best practise planning and management of all of Defence’s wideband satellite communications assets.

“The system will enable reduced operational response times for establishing and restoring satellite communications services, significantly helping deployed forces.”

"The network management system will introduce best practise planning and management of all of Defence’s wideband satellite communications assets."

Hansen and Yuncken will begin construction on the new satellite ground station later this year, after receiving approval from Parliamentary Works Committee.

Australia Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “Once constructed, the facility will also be serviced by a small number of maintenance personnel and operated remotely.” 

The project is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

Raytheon Australia provided certified satellite transportable land terminals in Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) modes for JP2008 Phase 5B1 project.

Image: The satellite ground station will be built in Kapooka along with an integrated network management system. Photo: courtesy of Australian DoD.