New communications equipment delivered to the Australian Army under the Land 2072 Phase 2B program – Project Currawong – has received system acceptance.
“System acceptance for Land 2072 Phase 2B Release 3 has been achieved in August 2022 and production is underway,” a spokesman for the Australian Ministry of Defence told AMR.
The device will provide three nodes: headquarters, vehicle and portable. It includes 18 Headquarters Mobility (HQOTM) systems for Bushmaster 4×4 protected motor vehicles; Deployable Data Assembly Center Assemblies (DDCAs); and Laptop-based External Network Access Points (ENAPs).
“Delivery of the version 3 equipment began in early 2022 and is expected to be completed by mid-2023. Subject to government approval, the project is expected to reach final operational capacity in the third quarter of 2023,” the spokesperson said.
Version 3 is currently being delivered, and the delivery and commissioning of the portable element is nearing completion.
The HQOTM system includes a satellite antenna mounted on the top of the vehicle to provide satellite communications capabilities to forward deployed units. DDCA uses a 10m mast and vehicle-mounted support equipment to provide radio network communications. The ENAP feature allows the military to add another communication node in disguise using civilian communication networks such as 5G or Wifi without being detected.
Project Currawong is providing a broadband backbone for Battlespace Communications System Land (BCS-L) deployments and three versions of the equipment to form an Integrated Battlefield Telecommunications Network (I-BTN). It will replace the existing Battlefield Telecommunications Network (BTN).
The first two versions have been completed and include a medium-sized satellite terminal, C-band convective scatterer and radio interface system; and 250 network access nodes (NAMs).
With equipment deliveries completed next year, I-BTN will provide greater network capacity, more efficient switching, wireless and network infrastructure to support secure voice, data and video services.
by Tim Fish