Selex ES awarded Australian $188 M contract for ANZAC-Class frigate communications upgrade

Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, has been awarded an AUD 188 million contract by the Australian efence Materiel Organisation (DMO) on behalf of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia. It will see the Company provide and support modernised communications systems for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) eight ANZAC-Class frigates, as part of the SEA1442 Phase 4 programme. The first upgraded ship is planned to enter service in 2018.

Under the acquisition contract, Selex ES, with support of other Finmeccanica companies and a range of Australian and international companies, will provide an integrated suite of state-of-the-art communications capabilities for the ANZAC-class frigates. The solution involves enhanced external RF communications and internal tactical communications equipment, the provision of a high-data-rate-line-of-sight bearer capacity and the introduction of a modern communications management system.

All support services necessary to sustain this new capability are to be delivered via a separate five-year contract valued at nearly AUD 18 million through Selex ES Australia Pty, a self-sufficient company based in Melbourne. The company has been established to play a leading role in the delivery and support of the programme and will be the focal point for the transfer of skills and experience to Australian industry. It is also expected to become Selex ES’s Asia Pacific regional engineering and support hub, undertaking new work generated by the Company’s growth plans in the region.

Fabrizio Giulianini, CEO of Selex ES said: “Key to the Selex ES team’s solution is investment in Australia. We're transferring knowledge and skills to local industry and developing a regional engineering and support facility through Selex ES Australia, building an Australian sovereign capability in naval communications systems integration. In the future, we're also looking to increasingly sub-contract high value-added work to Australian industry as our technology transfer programmes progress. The ANZAC fleet will benefit from a quantum leap forwards in communications capability from a system based on the one we've successfully proven with Allied navies".

Under project SEA 1442 Phase 4, the Australian Industry Capability elements will complement the important work undertaken by Finmeccanica to identify potential competitive opportunities for Australian small and medium enterprises under the Australian Government Global Supply Chain programme.

Looking forward, the capability upgrade will lay the foundation of a maritime architecture critical to future RAN tactical communications. It will also contribute towards the Australian Defence Force’s network-centric warfare concept in the maritime environment, helping reach the goal of a networked RAN.

Source: Selex ES
Date: Dec 9, 2013