Electronic Warfare Boost

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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Media contact

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6 September 2016

Our military’s electronic warfare capabilities will be significantly expanded after the Minister for Defence Industry the Hon Christopher Pyne MP and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne today announced the Turnbull Government has approved a major new joint project worth $500 million over the life of the program, with approximately three quarters of this to be spent locally in a boost to Australia's Defence Industry.

The Electronic Warfare Operations Support for Maritime and Land Forces project will provide electronic warfare equipment and infrastructure – significantly sharpening the ability of naval ships and army units to deal with threats emerging across the electronic warfare spectrum.

Once delivered, the systems will better prepare the ADF for operations in complex threat environments consistent with the objectives of the Defence White Paper and Integrated Investment Program.

Minister Pyne said Australian companies would be the big winners of the decision,   with the bulk of the $500 million budget helping to drive local jobs and economic growth.

“Australian companies’ BAE Systems Australia and Ultra Electronics Avalon Systems, will deliver the major equipment to support deploying navy and army units.

“In a boost for the Australian economy a new facility will also be built within the Edinburgh Defence precinct in South Australia to house laboratories, simulation equipment and testing support systems.

“The facility and systems delivered will be operated and sustained by Defence scientists, military personnel, public servants and Australian industry.

Minister Payne said the program would build on the existing Electronic Warfare Operations Support for the ADF’s Air capability.

This program will sharpen the capability of the Australian Defence Force and is needed to ensure Australia keeps its edge on the modern day battlefield.

“This project will better prepare the Australian Defence Force to conduct operations in areas where advanced threats such as missiles could threaten lives and assets and will also provide a significant boost to ADF capabilities.

“Many of the electronic warfare support systems to be acquired by this project will be portable and capable of operation within Australian ranges and training areas.

Minister Pyne Media Contacts

Rory Grant: 0439 764 809, pynemedia@defence.gov.au

Eleisa Hancock: 0427 981 990, pynemedia@defence.gov.au 

Minister Payne Media Contact

Henry Budd: 0429 531 143 

Department of Defence Media (02) 6127 1999


Electronic Warfare Operations Support for the Maritime and Land Domains

Imagine you’re in a tank or a ship, before going into a fight it is important to know who your adversary is, what your own vulnerabilities may be and how to best use the systems that come with the tank or ship to protect yourself. This project will provide a range of equipment, tools and data sets to help better understand what our platforms may look like to weapons and weapons systems we may come up against, how to use the self protection systems that already come with our platforms. Obviously, this is information is highly classified.

The project will deliver a range of testing equipment, tools and laboratories and construct a new purpose built facility in Adelaide, South Australia where the detailed analysis of the systems under test will be undertaken.  The project is not delivering any electronic warfare protection and countermeasure systems for installation on maritime and land platforms.  These systems are delivered by the platform capability projects, such as the Air Warfare Destroyer and Land combat vehicle projects.

In essence, this project will provide a capability to test, assess, verify and validate the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Maritime and Land Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities. We will be able to simulate modern threats, assess system reactions and better support the development of countermeasures, using this information in a broader assessment of platform survivability.

Australian companies BAE Systems Australia and Ultra Electronics Avalon Systems, and their Australian sub-contractors, will through the acquisition phase of the project, deliver the major items of equipment. This will include design, integration and production of the capability.  These companies will also provide through life support of the major items of equipment throughout its expected service life. Over the life of the program, about ¾ of the total budget will be spent in Australia.

Further opportunities may arise as the Project progresses for Australian Industry involvement in the supply of components for this capability.  On going operations and sustainment of the capability will be undertaken using local small to medium enterprises such as commercial aviation assets and certification companies.  Contractor support will be required to undertake specialised modelling and simulation activities in support of trials and operations.

The primary mission of this capability will provide operators with a clear and documented assessment of the characteristics of their platform when using authorised countermeasures and tactics against specific threats in both simple and complex engagements; and ensure ADF platforms fitted with EW systems are able to achieve and maintain a battle-worthy EW capability.

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