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Thales to provide SATCOM for Australian AWDs

HMAS Hobart D-39 and the SATCOM terminal (inset) for surface ships.

SYDNEY (BNS): Thales Australia has been awarded a $9 million contract by the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance to provide satellite communications (SATCOM) equipment for the Hobert Class destroyers.

The contract was announced Thursday by the Ministry of Defence Materiel and Science.

"The AWD will go to sea with a communications system that will not only meet the operational needs of a modern warship, but also allows the ship's crew to keep in touch with family and friends via email and internet services," said Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, as reported in a news release by the Australian Department of Defence.

The AWD Alliance, which comprises the Defence Materiel Organisation, ASC and Raytheon, has selected a solution that combines modern, proven technology and value for money.

The AWD system incorporates equipment from leading SATCOM suppliers including ViaSat, SITEP and Thrane & Thrane. Some of this equipment is already deployed on RAN warships.

"Satellite communications are key to the operation of the AWDs. This system will provide world-wide coverage of high-speed broadband for multiple users for both voice and data services," added Combet.

Thales Australia will be undertaking the design and fabrication work at its Garden Island facility in Sydney before installing the equipment on the AWDs at Techport Australia in Adelaide.

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