The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded a contract extension to Thales Australia to continue supporting the SEA 1442 Phase 3 programme.

The programme aims to upgrade the Royal Australian Navy’s (Ran) existing communication systems into an internet protocol (IP)-based maritime tactical wide area network (MTWAN).

This MTWAN system has an integrated IP-based digital environment that can interface with a variety of existing systems in the RAN fleet. It works at the ‘critical core’ of all the RAN’s maritime communication systems.

Thales’ MTWAN is a low-risk approach that can also minimise the service’s through life support expenses.

Work is being carried out by a Thales’ team of highly skilled engineers from across Australia. The team works out of company’s Secure Communications Centre of Excellence at Rydalmere in Western Sydney.

Thales Australia and New Zealand Digital Systems vice-president Peter Bull said: “We have actively supported the RAN for the last 12 years with the MTWAN system, ensuring this critical capability delivers the security and reliability the RAN requires on operation.

“We’re proud the Commonwealth has shown confidence in its partnership with Thales Australia by extending this MTWAN support contract even further.”

Throughout the SEA 1442 Phase 3 programme, the company has worked to explore various technologies that can support implementation and adoption of various next-generation improvements into the system.

This further validates that the system is future proof and can support the existing and emerging information sharing requirements while operating with the joint, coalition and allied forces’ systems.

Over the programme’s duration, Thales has developed and deployed various significant baseline upgrades, such as additional commercial and military SATCOM systems, to MTWAN for supporting increased bandwidth demands for the deployed forces.