Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) is set to offer its next generation Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system for the Australian Defence Force, as part of its bid to deliver rapidly deployable, resilient and reliable defence satellite communications capability under the JP9102 project.
The $3 billion Commonwealth government project is focused on reducing Australia's reliance on the United States' defence capabilities, including the US military’s Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS).
The company has committed to building on its latest WGS-11+ offering – in development by the US military – in an effort to deliver “substantially more efficiency, connectivity and resilience”.
“Using the WGS-11+ design gives Australia a low-risk, proven next-generation satellite product which will meet Defence’s rapid delivery schedule,” Matt Buckle, space and launch business director at Boeing Defence Australia, said.
Boeing has pledged to leverage its experience in the field while also onboarding the support of local firms, including Saber Astronautics, Clearbox Systems, Leidos, ViaSat, Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium and Titomic.
“When coupled with UHF payloads currently provided by Boeing to the US and Australian governments, and a locally-developed mission systems architecture, it puts us in a unique position to deliver an interoperable solution which maximises reuse of JP 2008 infrastructure while providing a resilient and flexible SATCOM capability for the future,” Buckle continued.
Buckle also noted the importance of Boeing’s partnership with the Australian Space Agency, formalised in 2019 with the signing of a statement of strategic intent.
“We have since collaborated on multiple projects including providing technical support on capability roadmaps, advancing antimicrobial testing for space missions and developing simulation software which is currently used in the United States for rocket tests and satellite launches,” he added.
Boeing is also expected to leverage several other global research and development partnerships in recent years, including:
- a 32-year partnership with CSIRO comprising research programs on space situational awareness, space manufacturing and materials, on-orbit image processing and analytics;
- local research arm, Boeing Research and Technology-Australia’s development of innovations including artificial reality training and weather server and remote testing technology;
- collaborations with universities, including the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, RMIT and the University of Melbourne; and
- investment in STEM programs such as the Australian Space Design Competition and Future U.
“We stand ready to continue our track record of building in-country capability, generating local jobs and talent, establishing export opportunities for Australian small businesses, and nurturing the next generation of space innovators,” Buckle said.
The JP9102 tender closed on 10 January.
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