Australian army gest Boeing Defence Australia Currawong battle space communication systems

Boeing Defense Australia has delivered the vast majority of a complex data and communications system known as Currawong, Colin Clark reports in Breaking Defense. The system is designed so Australian forces “can securely connect to one another and headquarters from anywhere in the world, anytime.
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Towed by a Thales Bushmaster modified for this task, a Currawong SATCOM trailer for future use by the Australian Defence Force (Picture source: Boeing Defence Australia)

“In just eight years, a team of more than 200 people, located primarily in Brisbane, has designed and developed a world-leading system which provides the Australian Army with access to more voice, data and video services in the field than ever before”, Boeing said in a statement.

Boeing Defence Australia’s Currawong battlespace communications system redefines the capacity, flexibility and responsiveness of the Australian Defence Force’s communications in the field. Its secure wideband voice, data and video services over wireless and wired infrastructure – ranging from high-capacity line-of-sight radios to long-haul fibre and satellite terminals – allow for fast and extremely reliable secure communications. The system’s modular network design comprises interchangeable capability ‘bricks’ which can be integrated and deployed to meet the specific needs of each mission.

Project Currawong is an Australian defence industry success story. From ground-up electronics to mechanical and software development, all components of the system are designed and developed in Australia with 235+ people directly employed on the project, along with 200+ local enterprises. Project Currawong is delivered under LAND 2072 Phase 2B. In fact, the AUD875 million program was formally known as Land 2072 Phase 2B when it began. Seven years later, it’s known as JP 2072 Phase 5B, Colin Clark writes.

The system has already been mounted on Australin army’s Thales Bushmaster vehicles and could be used by the Royal Australian Navy for its SEA 1442, the Royal Australian Navy’s communications program for its upgraded Anzac frigates.

Boeing appears to have reason for optimism for the program to expand, since the Australian government has committed to a multi-year Capability Enhancement Program, which will see upgrades appear over time, Colin Clark comments.