21 January 2011

Australian Army to deliver better communication system for diggers

Defence today signed a $69 million contract to deliver faster and more reliable communications on the battlefield.

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare said the contract with Raytheon would provide more than 1000 radios, which will be mounted on Army vehicles, primarily Bushmasters and M113 armoured vehicles, and handheld portable radios to be carried by soldiers in the field; equipment needed to mount and operate the radios; and maintenance and support services for three years.

“These new radios will give frontline soldiers and the Commanders directing them instant information on where they are, where they need to be and what is happening around them,” Mr Clare said a press release today.

“Right now, the Army is using an older, analogue system which is fast becoming obsolete. It’s served our troops well, but it’s time to move the Army forward into the digital age. This new system will be faster and more reliable, allowing troops to communicate instantly with the central command post. It will help Commanders plan better by giving them more accurate and timely information about what is happening on the ground," he said.

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