Northrop Grumman secures SATCOM contract to support WGS access

Our deployed forces will receive a major communications boost after Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP today announced a $223 million contract with Northrop Grumman Australia for the acquisition, construction and support of a new satellite ground station.Northrop Grumman Australia has been awarded a $223 million contract for the acquisition, construction and support of a satellite ground station at Kapooka, along with an integrated network management system.

Northrop Grumman stated that it and its partners ViaSat and Optus will deliver the satellite ground station and a wideband satellite communications (SATCOM) network management system under JP 2008 Phase 5B2.

The ground station and network management system will be integrated into the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system constellation of military communications satellites.

“The Kapooka ground station will operate in conjunction with a satellite ground station in Western Australia to provide Defence with the level of wideband satellite communications, capacity and survivability needed in the future,” stated Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne.

“The network management system will introduce best-practice planning and management of all Defence’s wideband satellite communications assets. The system will enable reduced operational response times for establishing and restoring satellite communications services, significantly helping deployed forces.”

Australian construction company Hansen Yuncken will start construction work later this year, subject to approval.

“Our team of Northrop Grumman, ViaSat and Optus will provide the ADF a comprehensive, mature, proven solution for taking full advantage of Australia’s investment in the WGS global communications system with expandability to meet future needs,” said Ian Irving, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia.

Ian Irving, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia, and Rear Admiral Tony Dalton, head of the Joint Systems Division, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), signing the JP 2008 Phase 5B2 contract. (Northrop Grumman)