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Leonardo to provide new communications software for Australian submarines

By Richard Tomkins
A Collins-class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy, one of many that are expected to receive a new communications platform that will more effectively prioritize uploads and downloads of data while at "periscope depth." Photo courtesy of Leonardo
A Collins-class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy, one of many that are expected to receive a new communications platform that will more effectively prioritize uploads and downloads of data while at "periscope depth." Photo courtesy of Leonardo

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Leonardo is to provide a software application to Royal Australian Navy submarines to upload and download data in a more managed way, the company said.

Called SmartIDMS, the software prioritizes data for sending, can pre-set rules for downloading of communications -- during peacetime, for instance, it can give priority to messages to crewmen to their families, thus improving morale.

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"Like most military vessels, submarines share information over computer networks," Leonardo said in its news release. "However, because they spend a great deal of time deep underwater, they are cut off from their networks for long periods."

"To stay in touch, a submarine must rise to just below the sea surface -- 'periscope depth' -- in order to join the network and exchange data with the outside world. Traditionally, the data would be uploaded and downloaded in the order that it was stored, which has led to important information getting stuck in a queue behind bulky, low-priority files."

The software contract was issued by Australia's Department of Defense and is part of Australia's Project SEA1439 Phase 5B2 upgrade program.

Leonardo said the SmartIDMS application brings together a number of the company's information management capabilities that have been used by the British Royal Navy on its surface fleet and submarines since 2007. Those capabilities are in the areas of network management and data management.

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