Australian Defence Minister Senator David Johnston announced that Defence has awarded two multi-million dollar contracts to Selex ES Ltd for the acquisition and support of modernised communication systems for the Royal Australian Navy’s eight ANZAC Class frigates.

Senator Johnston said the modernisation of the communications capability on board the ANZAC frigates will be a significant boost for the Navy, ensuring the ANZAC frigates will achieve and maintain information superiority in the maritime environment.

“The SEA1442 Phase 4 Acquisition Contract, valued at nearly $188 million, will deliver a significant improvement to the communications capability through an integrated system, including new radio and switching systems, secure voice and tactical communications system, and a communications management system,” Senator Johnston said.

“This new system will allow high speed networking of ships within a task group as well as more efficient and effective communications from ship to shore, and is a design that is used by the United States, Canadian and the Royal Navies.”

Senator Johnston said the contract will provide job opportunities in Melbourne for engineers, project managers, logisticians and other specialists in military communications and in-service support.

“A separate five-year in-service support contract, valued at nearly $18 million, will provide logistics, supply, training, engineering, and maintenance support services for the sustainment of the delivered capability.”

Selex ES Ltd, a United Kingdom based company, with significant experience in delivering maritime communications capability will establish Selex ES (Aust) in Melbourne to deliver this project and provide ongoing support following delivery.

Further opportunities for Australian industry will occur through a number of sub-contracts to small-to-medium enterprises in the fields of systems integration and engineering, project management, integrated logistics, ship installation and in-service support.

Senator Johnston said Selex was selected through an open tender process for this significant ANZAC upgrade program with the first upgraded ship planned to enter service in 2018.