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Raytheon to supply radios to Aussie army

by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Jan 28, 2011
Raytheon Australia has won a $70 million contract to supply position reporting systems, including radios, support equipment and maintenance work, to the Australian army.

The deal, signed with the military's procurement group Defense Materiel Organization, is for Raytheon's Enhanced Position Location Reporting System, its MicroLight radios and associated support.

The purchase is part of Joint Project 2072, the army's progressive purchase of an integrated Battlespace Communications System to coordinate operations during battle.

The EPLRS purchase is phase one of JP2072, which is an important step toward meeting the Australian military's objectives, a statement by Raytheon said.

Raytheon will provide 1,000 radios. Many will be mounted on the army's Bushmaster armored personnel carriers, made by Thales Australia, and its M113 APCs, made by various manufacturers, including BAE.

Some of the Raytheon order will include MicroLight hand-held portable radios with ancillaries, spares, support and training.

Microlight radios operate between 225 to 2,000 MHz and come with several encryption options for optimal security. They support the commercial Advanced Encryption Standard for Secure But Unclassified transmission through Type 1 for classified transmission.

The digital EPLRS and MicroLight radios are part of Raytheon's mobile ad hoc networking systems manufactured by Raytheon Network Centric Systems. Many are operated by the U.S. and Canadian armies.

EPLRS vehicular and hand-held products are software programmable networking radios that support a range of applications. This includes secured high-speed on-the-move data exchange capabilities over a wide frequency band with effective electronic counter-countermeasures.

First deliveries to the Australian army are expected by the summer.

"These new radios will give front-line soldiers and the commanders directing them instant information on where they are, where they need to be and what is happening around them," Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare said.

"Right now, the army is using an older, analog system, which is fast becoming obsolete. This new system will be faster and more reliable, allowing troops to communicate instantly with the central command post."

Raytheon will use its facility in Amberley, Queensland, to supply and support the radios.

The DMO signed the contract in Canberra with the managing director of Raytheon Australia, Michael Ward, and Raytheon's head of its Electronic Systems Division, Michael Aylward.

"Raytheon Australia is delighted to be working with the Commonwealth (Australian government) who is the prime systems integrator for this project," Ward said.

"This is an important outcome for our company and we look forward to playing a suitable role in future phases of the project that will provide the army's next generation communications infrastructure."

Early last year Raytheon Australia acquired the assets of Compucat Research, a Canberra technology company with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and the United States.

In July, Raytheon Australia announced the formation of a new cybersecurity business, Security Solutions. The unit focuses on cybersecurity, information and communication technologies, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, intelligence operations support and geospatial solutions.

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