Australia taps Boeing for comms support

March 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM
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BRISBANE, Australia, March 28 (UPI) -- The Australian government has contracted Boeing's local subsidiary to support the country's military communications system for deployed forces.

Under the $15.5 million Support Services Contract for the Modernized High Frequency Communications System, Boeing will sustain and upgrade the operational capability of MHFCS, which the company also developed.

"SSC will provide the Australian Department of Defense with the specialized engineering support it needs to maintain this strategically important communications asset," said Michael Aylward, head of the Electronic Systems Division for Australia's Defense Material Organization.

Boeing received "project complete" status from the commonwealth for MHFCS last June. The system was delivered in two phases, identified as the core system and the final system.

The core system, delivered in 2004, replaced three aging HF communications systems used by the Australian army, navy and air force with a single integrated system consisting of four HF radio stations and two purpose-built control centers.

The final system, integrated into Australian military service in late 2009, provided greater levels of automation, performance and capability for military users, a backup network management facility at Canberra and Generic Mobile Upgrade Systems for land-and-sea and air platforms.

"SSC is a huge vote of confidence … in Boeing's ability to ensure MHFCS remains at the cutting edge of high-frequency communications technology," said Mike Scott, general manager of Network and Space Systems for Boeing Defense Australia. "We've worked very closely with the commonwealth to ensure SSC will deliver maximum value and the most effective support to the (Australian military)."

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