The Australian Defence Ministry has awarded a $94m contract to BAE Systems for the construction of three new satellite communications earth terminals at the Australian Defence Satellite and Communications Station (ADSCS) in Western Australia.

Australian defence personnel minister Greg Combet said that the new capability will significantly enhance the wideband strategic communications support available to Australian forces.

“This includes those forces on distant deployments in the Middle East and also on operations closer to home in the Indian and Pacific Oceans,” he said.

Under the five-year contract, the company will provide support services for the new terminals and an enhanced network management system to enable the terminals to be controlled remotely from the HMAS Harman naval station located in the Canberra.

The new facility at ADSCS will dramatically increase the amount of data provided over the wideband global satellite (WGS) system, which Australia accesses in collaboration with the US Department of Defense.