Boeing Defense Australia and its maritime engineering partner BMT have successfully demonstrated a maritime communications system prototype for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The system is being developed as part of Australia’s Project SEA1442 Phase 5, which aims to upgrade the RAN’s communication capabilities and major fleet unit connectivity.

The companies announced their partnership for this project in November 2022. 

The new system, called Maritime Warfighters Network, is an evolved version of Boeing’s mission-proven Integrated Battlespace Telecommunications Network (I-BTN).

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The companies have adapted I-BTN to fulfil the RAN’s operational and seaworthiness requirements.

As part of the demonstration, Boeing-BMT team integrated meshed broadband line-of-sight radios with wired and wireless shore connection, referred as NINShore, to assess and prove management and networking software. 

This further allowed the team to demonstrate joint, task group and strategic connectivity and resilience leveraging multiple platform bearers, which is another crucial necessity for Australia’s Joint Black Core Network.

Boeing Defence Australia Joint Systems director Murray Brabrook said: “The maturity of our technology will ensure shortest path to minimal viable product and provide sovereign control to evolve network in line with navy’s emerging needs.”

Meanwhile, BMT is leveraging its naval expertise to provide operator feedback and evaluating hardware’s suitability to function in maritime environment.

In the next steps, the companies will perform more test and integration activities later this year to further mature and de-risk the new system. 

The continuous efforts will ensure that this system is simultaneously interoperable with service’s conventional, coalition, allied, joint and at-sea experimentation networks.

BMT APAC regional business director Graeme Nayler said: “Our work in supporting capability lifecycle and managing system integration across maritime domain is absolutely critical to ensuring we provide resilient, evolvable communications system that supports navy’s ability to maintain warfighting edge.”