November 29, 2022
Boeing Defence Australia has completed delivery of a battlefield telecommunications system for the Australian Army. The project to build the system, known as Currawong, kicked off in 2015. It replaces the 1990s-era Parakeet communications system. At the time, the project was expected to cost $900 million, but according to Boeing, “$700 million was invested in…

Boeing Defence Australia has completed delivery of a battlefield telecommunications system for the Australian Army.

The project to build the system, known as Currawong, kicked off in 2015. It replaces the 1990s-era Parakeet communications system.

At the time, the project was expected to cost $900 million, but according to Boeing, “$700 million was invested in design, development and production of this purpose-built system”.

The eight-year Land 2072 Phase 2B project was the work of a team of 200 mostly Brisbane-based staff, and it gives the army “access to more voice, data and video services in the field than ever before”, Boeing said.

“The system comprises all of the technology and hardware needed to enable deployed forces to securely connect to one another and headquarters from anywhere in the world, anytime.”

Transmission uses a variety of technologies, including wideband global satellites, fibre networks, and public telecommunications networks. 

The company has now begun extending Currawong with the aim of making it a “joint force architecture”.

The first major development has been the extension of the Australian government’s commitment to the program through a multi-year capability enhancement program.

“In the past, at the completion of development programs such as Currawong, we would traditionally shift to a pure sustainment contract, with limited scope for upgrades and enhancements,” Boeing’s Currawong program director Tom Minge said.

“But in a tangible demonstration of the value of the capability, the Australian government has funded the continued evolution and development of the system through to 2026, committing to its longevity and future-proofing communications connectivity for Australian deployed forces globally.”

Boeing Defence Australia is also actively exploring the application of the Currawong capability to other platforms, such as in Army vehicle tactical communications.

Other potential applications include the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA 1442 maritime communications program.

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