Australia invests $427.9m in new Fleet Information Environment

26 October 2020 (Last Updated October 26th, 2020 17:17)

The Australian Government has announced plans to invest more than A$600m ($427.9m) in a new Fleet Information Environment.

Australia invests $427.9m in new Fleet Information Environment
Royal Australian Navy’s Leeuwin-class of hydrographic survey vessels HMAS Leeuwin. Credit: Paul Voller.

The Australian Government has announced plans to invest more than A$600m ($427.9m) in a new Fleet Information Environment.

The investment is intended to boost the maritime communications of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

It will be used to upgrade the naval systems and computer networks to conduct improved at-sea information exchange securely and reliably.

Over 100 new Australian jobs are expected to be created in areas of computer systems design and engineering, and platform and system integration.

Another $100m will also be invested for additional infrastructure in Darwin, Cairns, Rockingham, Canberra, and Sydney.

The upgrade project will also permit the integration of the latest technology updates on a continuous basis.

Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “As outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, decision superiority in the maritime domain is essential for the defence’s ability to conduct operations.

“Deploying ships to sea presents unique information management challenges and require computer networks that are designed to remain effective even in low bandwidth or congested communications environments.

“This significant funding by the Morrison government will provide greater levels of cyber security and operational efficiency which are crucial for navy operations now and into the future.

“Importantly, this investment is creating jobs for Australians to help boost the economy as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Moreover, Australian firms will be provided an opportunity to work together with ADF to test the products for future upgrades.

This work will be performed at a Deployed Network Integration Centre, which will be set up in Canberra.

The first phase of the upgrades to the platforms of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is slated to commence with HMAS Leeuwin in Far North Queensland, starting next year.

In May, the Australian Government invested in a programme for the production of six new Cape-class patrol boats for the RAN.