The Australian Department of Defence has selected Selex for acquisition and support of modernised communication systems for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) eight Anzac-Class vessels, defence minister senator David Johnston said.

Johnston said the ships’ communication system upgrade programme will significantly boost capability for the navy and also ensure the frigates will achieve and maintain information superiority in the maritime environment.

"The SEA1442 Phase 4 Acquisition Contract, valued at nearly $188m, will deliver a significant improvement to the communications capability through an integrated system, including new radio and switching systems, secure voice and tactical communications system, and a communications management system," Johnston added.

"This new system will allow high speed networking of ships within a task group, as well as more efficient and effective communications from ship to shore, and is a design that is used by the United States, Canadian and the Royal Navies."

The contract will provide jobs in Melbourne for engineers, project managers, logisticians and other specialists in military communications and in-service support.

"A separate five-year in-service support contract, valued at nearly $18m, will provide logistics, supply, training, engineering and maintenance support services for the sustainment of the delivered capability," said Johnston

In order to deliver this project, Selex ES will establish Selex ES (Aust) in Melbourne and provide ongoing support following delivery.

A number of sub-contracts will be awarded to small-to-medium enterprises in the fields of systems integration and engineering, project management, integrated logistics, ship installation and in-service support. The first upgraded Anzac-Class ship is expected to enter service in 2018.