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Next generation naval communications contract keeps Navy connected

Thales Australia has been awarded a contract extension by the Australian Department of Defence for the SEA 1442 Phase 3 program, an Internet Protocol (IP) based Maritime Tactical Wide Area Network (MTWAN) supporting the Royal Australian Navy’s Maritime Communications Modernisation and network centric warfare priorities.

Thales’s MTWAN operates at the critical core of the RAN’s maritime communication systems integration and implementation. The innovative solution involves an integrated IP-based digital environment, interfacing with a range of existing RAN systems. This low-risk approach provides future-proofing through the use of Commercial Off The Shelf components, and reduces through life support costs.

Over the duration of the SEA 1442 Phase 3 program, Thales’s continuous improvement policy and global access to cutting edge technologies has enabled the adoption and implementation of next generation improvements to the system, ensuring the system is future proof, capable of supporting current and future information exchange demands, whilst also ensuring interoperability with joint, coalition and allied systems.

Thales has developed and deployed several major baseline upgrades of MTWAN to support the growing demands of increased bandwidth for deployed forces, diversity of communication bearers and enhanced cyber security of tactical networks at sea. This work has included the integration of additional commercial and military SATCOM systems, Joint Domain networks, and improved bandwidth utilisation tools.

The contract extension is testament to the Thales Australia team’s deep technical know-how delivered by experienced and highly capable Australian-based engineers located at Thales’s Secure Communications Centre of Excellence at Rydalmere in Western Sydney.

Vice President for Digital Systems at Thales Australia & New Zealand, Peter Bull, said “We’ve actively supported the RAN for the last 12 years with the MTWAN system, ensuring this critical capability delivers the security and reliability the RAN requires on operation. We’re proud the Commonwealth has shown confidence in its partnership with Thales Australia by extending this MTWAN support contract even further.”

About Thales in Australia
Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services. Thales Australia employs around 3,800 people directly and supports over 2,051 job along its Australian supply chain. In 2020 Thales Australia spent $657 million with 1,841 Australia suppliers, of which 82% are SMEs. Since 2018 Thales Australia has spent over $1.9 billion with local Australian businesses.

Thales Australia has a history of patient investment to build advanced in-country capability across manufacturing, critical systems and services. Close collaborative relationships with local customers, Australian SME suppliers and research institutions combined with technology transfer from our global business enables Thales to tailor high quality solutions for Australian and export markets, generating revenue of $1.6 billion in exports over the past 10 years.